Pregnancy sets a new journey to every expecting mother or family. And for the first-timers, it could be a ride full of twists and turns. From the embryo to the full-grown fetus, every mother steps carefully on the road during the entire nine months. But far from what movies depict, pregnancy is far from easy. The growing life inside the body could stimulate more changes than just an increasing tummy size. One of the most common worries these mothers experience is dry eye during pregnancy. This pink eye could easily be conjunctivitis or other things entirely, like high blood pressure. And if you experience conjunctivitis, it is best to see your doctor right away. Hence, it is essential to know which is which and how to remedy these events.
What Is Dry Eye?
You might not know it, but tears play vital roles other than just portraying the pinnacle of your emotions. These tears form when the glands in the eyes produce excess lacrimal fluid. Thus, technically speaking, you always have tears in your eyes —just that its volume is not enough to stream down your cheeks. One of the significant roles tears play include ensuring lubrication, hygiene and adequate nourishment in your eyes. And in every blink, you replenish the drying fluid in the surface.
If you have experienced wearing contact lenses, you will be familiar with dry eyes. These synthetic lenses disrupt the natural film of lacrimal fluid on the eyes. Hence, most people who wear contact lenses also rely on eye drops. Some of the common symptoms of dry eye include the following:
Itchy, stinging, or burning sensations in the eye
Sensitivity to light
Tired eyes or fatigue around the area
Heavy or sticky eyelids
Difficulty wearing contact lenses
Dry Eye During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, changes become a usual encounter. From the stubby toes, you could have dry eyes. You might not be wearing any contact lenses this time, but the dry eye sensation emerges from time to time. Hence, you could be hunting for some eye drops as well. This dry eye phenomenon during pregnancy could be attributed significantly to the play of hormones. The hormonal surges and shifts could affect the concentration and content of the tears. Hence, it becomes insufficient to keep your eyes moist and healthy. You could be producing the same amount of tears, but it becomes less effective in maintaining moisture for lubrication.
Luckily, without other health problems like high blood pressure, dry eyes are normal. And eye drops should be enough to keep the irritation away. Factors like dehydration, incomplete diet and exposure to harsh weathers could aggravate dry eye during pregnancy.
Safe Remedies For Dry Eye
Dry eyes are only part of the adjustments women make when pregnant. And if you are not fond of using eye drops, you could opt to do other techniques. After all, dry eyes could last for months more after delivery. It is best to keep your options open other than the eye drops, some tricks include:
- Warm compress
- Using a humidifier
- Drink prenatal vitamins
- Prevent dehydration
- Opt for a balanced diet
- Minimising screen time with devices or TV
Unrelieved Dry Eye During Pregnancy
Like any other body fluid, tears contain more than just water. The lacrimal fluid has the right mixture of oil, mucus and water. With this combination, a single blink becomes enough to resupply the moisture and nutrients in the eyes. Hence, underproduction of tears or developing low-quality tears could lead to dry eyes as well. But other than the typical surge of hormones, other more severe reasons could cause dry eye. And this time eye drops may not work its magic. Aside from frequent drying of the eyes, blurred vision and eye fatigue could manifest in these cases.
High Blood Pressure
When the flow of blood in the vessels increase in force, it causes high blood pressure. This sudden development of high blood pressure during pregnancy is a mark of preeclampsia. And even when it seems unlikely, dry eyes could be attributed to high blood pressure. Changes in vision or appearance of spots are also common in high blood pressure. More than the regular drying of the eyes, the increase in pressure could damage the eye vessels. Hence, it is best to seek a professional when this happens.
Like high blood pressure, diabetes could cause vision changes during pregnancy. Even the non-pregnant population could experience dry eyes due to diabetes. The increase in blood sugar levels also affects the vessels found at the back of the eye. When this injury persists, it could disrupt the communication of the nerves that direct tear production. Unfortunately, like high blood pressure, diabetes is common in pregnant women. However, only a small percentage of this case develops diabetic retinopathy.
All Perspective Considered
When it comes to pregnancy, stressing the importance of professional checkup is vital. This periodic checking will ensure not just your wellness but of the fetus inside as well. And most often, complications are not as evident as dry eyes. Although there could be remedies available to relieve you from the pain, there is no other safer intervention than a professional’s. Besides, dry eyes could be hiding more life-risking situation other than hormonal change. Hence, when you experience dry eye during pregnancy, make sure to tell your physician about it during your next prenatal care checkup.