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We have always been certain that myopia increased during pregnancy, but recent studies have ruled this statement.
However, there are still doubts. In fact, many pregnant women say they experience vision changes during pregnancy. We explain why pregnancy is not the best time to have myopia surgery or buy new glasses.
Myopia is the most common refractive error in the world. The length of the eye, as well as the dioptric power of the cornea and the lens determine this refractive defect. The specific risk factors for myopia are not yet clear, but evidence suggests a multifactorial cause involving both genetic and environmental factors.
But there are a number of eye changes that affect women during pregnancy that still arouse doubts. What we did not know is that most of them are harmless and transitory, and that they are directly related to the physiological changes induced by hormones. These are due to a greater accumulation of fluid in the cornea and lens, which influences its thickness and curvature, parameters directly related to the increase in myopia.
1. Variation in visual acuity is the most common complaint in pregnancy. About 14% of pregnant women experience these changes, as well as intolerance to soft contact lenses. For this reason, refractive surgery should not be performed during pregnancy or during the first year after delivery.
2. Dry eye. In addition, studies show that 16% of pregnant women present changes in the tear film that translate into symptoms of dry eye or in the prescription of their glasses. For this reason, it is advisable not to make changes to the prescription of glasses until several weeks after delivery.
3. Intraocular pressure. Another variable that is also modified during pregnancy is intraocular pressure, which decreases slightly due to the influence of hormones, mainly progesterone.
4. Changes in the vessels of the retina. Almost all pregnant women have reactive changes in the retinal vessels, but clearly visible changes only arise in the setting of hypertension, pre-eclampsia, or eclampsia. In the course of a normal pregnancy, there are no physiological or visible changes in the retina.
Although it is true that during pregnancy women undergo changes in their vision, a recent study carried out in Spain in which more than 10,000 pregnant and non-pregnant women participated over 14 years of follow-up, has shown that the pregnancy neither the degree of myopia develops nor increases, but there is a variation directly related to the physiological changes induced by the hormones that after pregnancy will return to its normal state.
There are some Eye pathologies linked to myopia, such as glaucoma or retinal detachment, which must be taken into account in the face of a possible normal delivery. The myopic pregnant woman should consult with her ophthalmologist to plan the delivery and prevent this complication. It is known that myopic patients from 6 diopters have a higher risk of suffering from retinal detachment.
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