Contact Lenses And Pregnancy
Dear America’s Best:
I’m just over five months (22 weeks) pregnant, and I’ve recently begun to experience problems wearing my contact lenses. Is it possible there could be a connection? I have worn my lenses for decades and never had an issue until now. I don’t want to overreact, but I’d like to know if this is normal. Thanks for your help.
Elaine in Georgia
Ahhh…pregnancy. Yes, you’re body is going through many amazing changes right now, and that includes your eyes. Eye challenges are not uncommon during this time and it’s likely any problems you’re experiencing with your contact lenses are symptomatic of that.
Here are just a few things that can happen during pregnancy that may impact the comfort of your contact lenses:
Your eyes can swell
If your contacts don’t sit on your eyeballs quite as well as they used to, the problem could be that, like your feet, your eyeballs have swollen. Don’t worry, the problem is temporary and may get better and worse throughout your pregnancy but should go back to normal after your baby is born.
Your eyes are dry
Did your doctor tell you to drink a lot of water during pregnancy? If so, this is just another reason why. You need this water to sustain the extra blood flow now needed to sustain your unborn child. Many pregnant women become chronically dehydrated during the nine months of pregnancy and some of the symptoms of that may show up in your eyes. Keep a good re-wetting drop on hand can help with this, as can keeping track of exactly how much water you are drinking to make sure you are getting enough.
There are several prescription options for dry eyes, but some are not recommended for pregnant women, so consult your optometrist and your OB/GYN before starting to use these specialty drops.
It’s always bet to talk to your optometrist about any eye changes you are experiencing during pregnancy or otherwise. You may find that your vision changes during this time and the prescription that once made your view of life clear, doesn’t work so well anymore. The good news is that often your eyes will revert to their previous prescription, but you may want to consult your optometrist about getting a temporary prescription to accommodate this change. Make sure you tell your America’s Best optometrist if you are pregnant, so he or she can treat you appropriately.