For most women, there are many more bothersome pregnancy discomforts than having slightly less sharp vision than usual. Whether you wear glasses or not, the difference should not be too great. However, it's good to know that this is completely normal, and that it will improve again after you have had your baby.
Why is eyesight affected by pregnancy?
Like so many things during pregnancy, your eyesight is affected by two things.
Firstly, your hormones are changing - your progesterone levels are low at the early stages and increase during the third trimester, both changes can affect your eyesight.
Secondly, fluid retention can affect the dryness of your eyes.
Eyesight changes and discomforts
The cornea thickens during pregnancy, and can change shape as well. (Sometimes this change occurs during breastfeeding.) These changes to the cornea can lessen the sharpness of your vision, but it can also mean that wearing hard lenses becomes uncomfortable.
If you can, try to wear spectacles or switch to soft lenses if you find your hard lenses becoming uncomfortable.
Water retention can affect the tear film, which might mean that your eyes feel dry and itchy. Avoid dry air as much as possible (that is, go for natural air flow rather than air conditioning, for example).
The most likely affects will be marginally less sharp focus, irritated eyes or blind spots.
Diabetes and glaucoma
If you have pre-existing diabetes before pregnancy you will most likely be aware of the medical implications of your condition. Your eyesight may suffer as the blood vessels which serve the retina can be affected. Blurred vision can be affected by your blood sugar level.
If you have diabetes it is important that you discuss any concerns about your eyesight with your doctor or midwife as soon as there are any changes.
Interestingly, the condition glaucoma tends to improve slightly during pregnancy because the pressure on the eyes reduces when you are expecting.
Like the reduced eyesight and irritation, the improved status for glaucoma sufferers is passing and will return to normal after birth.
When eye problems are a concern
Blurred vision which lasts for longer that two hours, eye sight causing headaches, or seeing spots in front of your eyes, could all be symptoms of more serious pregnancy conditions such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.
These episodes should be treated as urgent problems and you should contact your GP or midwife immediately.