How to take care of the eyes of a future mother12/02/2015
During pregnancy, women’s bodies change to enable the development of the foetus inside the uterus and to adapt the body in order to give birth to the baby (hips, breasts, etc. get altered). All this takes place through hormone and growth factor signals that affect target organs. For example, breasts grow, hips spread, the body suffers cardiac alterations; and these same growth factors act on other organs, such as the eye.
Thus, the eye can grow (if it grows one millimetre from front-to-back, the future mum will see her myopia increase in 3 dioptres). Nearly one in five women suffer alterations in their refraction and become more myopic. Other changes in the quality of vision may be due to alterations in the transparency of the crystalline or to changes in the retina. But pregnancy, as well as the satisfaction of bringing another human being into this world, produces changes in the mother to protect the foetus from certain diseases. For example, certain autoimmune diseases (like uveitis) are less frequent during pregnancy and lactation.
Changes are usually temporary; generally all the alterations that the mothers suffer in their bodies go back to normal after giving birth and the lactation period. However, in the same manner as mothers report changes “that do not return to their original shape” after the pregnancy, these alterations might also remain in the eyes permanently (creating a need for new glasses or contact lenses).
When to perform check-ups.
Even healthy patients should attend regular ophthalmological examinations. If there are any risk factors like family history of glaucoma or known eye pathologies, these have to be properly followed. Short-sighted future mothers should check their eye fundus to rule out retinal injuries as they are more prone to them. Therefore, check-ups should be performed preferably before pregnancy. Please remember that the eye drops used by ophthalmologists during examinations or for treatments can affect the foetus and the baby.
Special protection during pregnancy
1. Protect yourself from potential toxic agents (industrial pollution, volatile agents, smoke or infectious agents)
2. If you use contact lenses, you must limit their use to the minimum or simply use glasses. Risk of contact lens-related infection is much higher and more complicated to treat during pregnancy,
3. If, as well as the aforementioned, you are diabetic, monitor closely the metabolic disease to avoid decompensation and an increase in the risk of suffering an eye disease.