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How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Eyesight

Pregnancy can impact almost every part of a woman’s body and health — including her eyes. In fact, an estimated 14% of pregnant women report experiencing visual changes during pregnancy that usually resolve on their own within a couple of months after giving birth. 

Knowing the different visual symptoms that can present when you’re expecting can help alert you to potential underlying health concerns that your physician may need to address. 

Normal Visual Changes During Pregnancy

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is the most common visual symptom that pregnant women may experience. Hormonal fluctuations are usually to blame for the temporary decrease in visual acuity, and your eyesight will likely return to normal soon after giving birth. 

The influx of pregnancy hormones causes fluid retention in some areas of the body and can cause the cornea to thicken slightly. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused accurately and vision may be blurred. 

Less commonly, blurred vision can signal gestational diabetes, a pregnancy complication affecting 6-9% of pregnant women. The rise in blood sugar level impacts the focusing lens of the eye, leading to blurry vision. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, including gestational diabetes, it’s a good idea to book an eye exam to monitor for retinal changes.

Blurred vision is also a common side effect of dry eye syndrome, a condition characterized by tears that don’t adequately lubricate the eyes, which can be brought on or exacerbated by pregnancy. 

Eye Dryness

Pregnancy hormones can cause a reduction in the amount of tears your eyes produce or affect the quality of the tears. These changes can affect a woman throughout her entire pregnancy, but studies show that eye dryness is particularly common in the last trimester. For this reason, some women find it difficult to wear contact lenses in their third trimester and temporarily switch to glasses. 

Eye Puffiness

Yet another body part that swells during pregnancy: the eyelids and tissues around the eyes. 

Pregnancy-related water retention may cause your eyelids to appear puffier than during your pre-pregnancy days. You may also notice darker areas under the eyes. If your puffy eyes bother you, try limiting your salt and caffeine intake, as they can worsen the problem. 

Visual Changes That May Indicate a Problem

The following visual changes warrant a prompt call to your eye doctor or obstetrician to rule out any underlying complications. 

Flashes or floaters

Seeing stars during pregnancy can signal high blood pressure, which is associated with preeclampsia — a serious medical condition that requires close monitoring by your physician and possible treatment. 

It’s crucial to have your blood pressure monitored throughout your pregnancy, as preeclampsia can potentially endanger the life of mother and child, as well as damage the cornea and retina. 

Temporary vision loss

Temporary vision loss is concerning for pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Vision loss is another warning sign of preeclampsia, so contact your doctor promptly if you suddenly lose any portion of your visual field. 

Sensitivity to light

Light-sensitivity can either be a normal side effect of fluid retention in the eye, or it can signal dangerously high blood pressure and preeclampsia. 

How We Can Help

At ​​Specs For Less, our goal is to keep your vision and eyes healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you experience any visual symptoms, we can help by thoroughly examining your eyes to determine the underlying cause and provide you with guidance on what next steps to take. 

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, when self care should be at the forefront — and that includes comprehensive eye care. 

To schedule an eye exam or learn more about our eye care services, call Specs For Less in Staten Island today!

 

Q&A

Why are regular eye exams important? 

Having your eyes evaluated by an optometrist on a regular basis is crucial for detecting early signs of eye diseases and changes in your prescription, including during pregnancy. Many serious eye diseases don’t cause any noticeable symptoms until they’ve progressed to late stages, when damage to vision may be irreversible. Whether or not you wear glasses or contact lenses for vision correction, ask your optometrist about how often to schedule a routine eye exam. 

Will my baby need an eye exam after  birth? 

According to the American Optometric Association and the Canadian Association of Optometrists, babies should have an eye exam within the first 6-12 months of life, even in the absence of noticeable vision problems. Healthy vision is a significant part of healthy overall development, so be sure not to skip your baby’s eye exams! 

Do I need Eye Exams?

Do you wait until you notice a problem before visiting your eye doctor for an eye exam? Or do you schedule routine check-ups?

Many people are not aware of how important it is to have regular eye exams. In fact, it is the most dependable way to preserve your long-lasting eye health and quality vision.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you have a complaint about your vision before reserving your comprehensive eye exam. Book an appointment today with Dr. Brian Nye, your expert optometrist in Staten Island,New York.

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Are Eye Exams important ?

Clear and healthy vision plays a primary role in every part of your life, which is why preventive eye care is so critical. What you may not know is that many common eye diseases and vision conditions do not cause symptoms at the beginning. It is only when these disorders, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, progress to a later stage that problems appear. Unfortunately, that is also when vision damage has already occurred and treatment has a less positive prognosis. In contrast, when eye disease is caught early by an eye exam, your eye doctor can treat it immediately – before there is any irreversible vision loss.

Along with inspecting for eye disease, Dr. Brian Nye will also check your vision during an eye exam in our La Jolla office. Vision does not generally stay the same throughout all stages of life. We will verify that your current vision prescription is accurate to ensure that you receive the most appropriate vision correction, including eyeglasses, bifocal/multifocal, and contact lenses.

Specs For Less Eye Clinic and Eye Exams in Staten Island, New York

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Staten Island eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

What to Expect During Your Eye Exam

We treat every patient who enters our Staten Island, New York, eye care center as a unique individual. That means you will benefit from the specific tests and procedures you need, depending upon your age, health condition, visual symptoms, and the judgment of our eye doctor.

In general, a complete eye exam begins with taking your case history and asking questions about your lifestyle requirements. We will then assess visual acuity, binocularity, color vision, peripheral vision, and ocular health. Your eye doctor may also use tonometry (puff test or blue light) to measure intraocular pressure, which is a screening procedure for glaucoma. Depending upon the results of all of these tests, we may perform additional procedures using the latest technology, such as digital retinal imaging and OCT scans.

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What to Expect During a Pediatric Eye Exam

Children are not simply little adults. That means they have different visual needs and risks than adults. As they grow, they may develop vision problems that could compromise learning and development. Only a comprehensive pediatric eye exam can detect these conditions. That’s why the American Optometric Association advises kids should have their eyes examined at six months old, at three years old (unless diagnosed with a vision condition that requires an earlier examination), and again before starting elementary school (age 5-6). If no vision correction or therapy is needed, follow-up eye exams should be scheduled every one to two years. Our eye doctor is highly qualified and experienced at performing specialized eye exams for kids in the Staten Island area.

During your child’s eye exam in our Specs For Less practice, we will evaluate the following functional vision skills:

  • Visual acuity
  • Eye teaming/Binocularity
  • Focusing ability/Accommodation
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Visual perception skills

Ocular health is the foundation for clear vision, and our optometrist will also examine the inner eye tissues, as well the tissues around the eye for any abnormalities. If necessary, we may use dilating eye drops to obtain a sharper view.

Find an eye exam near you!

Now that you are aware of all the reasons to have regular eye exams and what to expect during your appointment, we hope you’ll contact us to schedule a visit to our welcoming Staten Island optometry practice!

Call Specs For Less on 855-855-6039 to schedule an eye exam with our Staten Island optometrist. Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Protect Your Eyes From Vision Loss: Diabetes Awareness Month

Do I have Eye Allergies?

Know the symptoms of seasonal eye allergies and how to get rid of this pesky problem

As the weather warms, flower buds are opening, and your neighbors are dragging their lawnmowers out for an annual spring tune-up. And suddenly you find a need to rub your itchy, red, and sore eyes constantly. Yep, it’s that time of year again – the time that seasonal allergies blossom with the trees.

Nasal symptoms of seasonal allergies, like a runny nose and sneezing, usually get all the attention, but actually, eye allergies (your eye doctor may call it “allergic conjunctivitis”) are pretty common – affecting millions of people in the US. Grass allergy and pollen in the eyes are the primary cause of eye irritation. What’s the best treatment? And how can you get rid of your eye allergies?

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Eye exam to diagnose eye allergies in Staten Island, New York eye doctor’s tips on how to recognize and relieve allergies.

The ocular symptoms of your seasonal allergies are caused when your body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to an environmental trigger that’s really harmless. That trigger, called an allergen, makes contact with antibodies in your eyes – and these cells respond by releasing histamine. Histamine and other natural chemicals cause tiny blood vessels in your eyes to leak, which can lead to redness, itchiness, burning, inflammation, and watery eyes. The symptoms can range from mild to severe enough to interfere with your clear vision. Rest assured – eye allergies are not dangerous, as annoying as they can be.

However, these symptoms alone are not enough to blame seasonal allergies. All of these signs are not unique to eye allergies and could point to several different eye diseases. That’s why a precise diagnosis is imperative! Our Staten Island, New York eye doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your eyes to identify the cause of the irritation.

Specs For Less Eye Clinic and seasonal allergies in Staten Island, New York

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Staten Island eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Avoid your trigger to get rid of eye allergies

Grass allergy and pollen in your eyes are the most typical triggers for seasonal eye allergies, often called hay fever. Since that’s the case, you’re probably wondering how you can possibly avoid these widespread allergens. Before you lock yourself in your room and wait for the seasons to change, our eye doctor recommends:

  • Keep windows closed when the pollen count is high. Use a/c in your home, office, and the car in order to clean the air around you.
  • Do not rub your eyes! This spreads the pollen (and irritation!) all over.
  • When you are outdoors, always wear glasses and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. Don’t wear your contacts! Contact lenses can exacerbate eye allergies because they are a great surface for pollen to cling to and pile up.
  • When you return indoors after being exposed to seasonal allergens, rinse your eyes with saline drops.
  • Clean your floors with a damp rag, instead of sweeping with a dry broom that pushes any pollen that’s settled back into the air.

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What’s the best treatment for eye allergies?

Some of the symptoms can be managed with nonprescription drugs, especially if your eye allergies are mild. Try using artificial tears to keep your ocular surface clean. Decongestant eye drops may also help, however, it’s not a good idea to use these for more than a few days since they can worsen your condition with prolonged use.

What about antihistamines for red eyes and seasonal allergies? Antihistamine eye drops, mast cell stabilizer eye drops, corticosteroid eye drops, and NSAID eye drops are accepted short-term treatment for eye allergies. Because these are all prescription drugs, you will need to visit your eye doctor (and possibly an allergist too) to determine which medication is most suitable for you. Some non-sedating oral histamines may also be effective at relieving your symptoms, but they can dry out eyes – thereby making the irritation worse. If your seasonal allergies are extreme and get in the way of functional living, immunotherapy allergy shots or tablets may offer long-term relief.

Are seasonal allergies disrupting your life?

Visit Specs For Less for more tips on how to enjoy clear and comfortable vision in Staten Island, New York, all year-round! Call Specs For Less on 855-855-6039 to schedule an eye exam with our Staten Island optometrist. Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOLLOW US


Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

Understanding Eye Color

Trouble Seeing at Night? All About Night Blindness

Ultraviolet Light and your Eyes

Can you Really Go Blind from Looking at a Solar Eclipse?

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