Causes of increased myopia in pregnancy
The short-sighted women they must undergo an ocular revision during pregnancy to assess the possible changes suffered by their visual acuity in this stage. The statistics say that approximately, the 10 percent of pregnant women who have myopia registers an increase of between half and one diopter throughout your pregnancy. The cause of this problem is usually fluid retention, which, among other things, affects the cornea and the lens.
Although in most cases the lost sight is recovered after delivery, in a 20% of cases the increase in diopters is maintained. This probability increases with the number of diopters you have.
And in addition, women who usually use contact lenses to correct nearsightedness can also see reduced tolerance to them during pregnancy and are forced to resort to glasses until after delivery. This is due to the change in the corneal curvature and the decrease in tear production during the third trimester.
The cornea and lens of the eye during pregnancy
The changes in size and thickness of the cornea and lens are the cause of eye discomfort and blurred vision that occur during pregnancy.
The cornea and the lens are the lenses of the eye that have the ability to focus the images on the retina properly. "During pregnancy, the cornea can suffer an increase in central thickness due to the hormonal process and the fluid retention characteristic of pregnancy," says Dr. María Capote, specialist in retinal microsurgery of the Ophthalmology Service of the Hospital La Milagrosa de Madrid.
With respect to the lens, changes in thickness and curvature have also been described, resulting in a loss of accommodation capacity. In most cases these changes are mild and transient, at approximately 6-8 weeks after delivery they disappear. That is why it is not advisable, except for exceptions, to change the prescription of the glasses or to vary the lenses.
Women with high myopia in pregnancy
On occasion, women who present a high myopia before pregnancy They have a greater risk of these changes in vision remaining after delivery. This is due to the increase in fluid retention, but also to that of estrogens, which have a growth factor that, in some cases, affects the mother and can increase the size of the eyeball that also produces changes in vision. This alteration can affect up to 20 percent of pregnant women with high myopia.
On the other hand, women with high myopia should be more careful during labor and the peripartum, since they are more prone to suffer retinal detachment. To prevent this, as far as possible, periodic visual checks are essential.
"In cases of pregnant women with associated eye diseases such as myopia magna or glaucoma it is recommended that they follow a quarterly check at their trusted ophthalmologist, "explains Dr. Capote, as well as those with systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or other autoimmune diseases.
As a conclusion, in pregnancy small changes in vision are completely normal, but in any doubt it is best to always consult a specialist in ophthalmology.
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice:Dr. María Capote, specialist in retinal microsurgery of the Ophthalmology Service of the Hospital La Milagrosa in Madrid.
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