Pregnancy and Eye Exams

Almost every pregnant woman has read somewhere that pregnancy hormones can affect her glasses or contact lens prescription. Because of this a pregnant woman may delay necessary eye care.

I have found pregnancy usually does not affect glasses or contact lens prescriptions. In fact, pregnant women who delay their eye exam until after delivery, or after they finish nursing, may be putting themselves at risk for the following reasons:

1. Outdated eyeglass prescriptions can reduce driving safety

2. They may end up trying to squeeze an extra few weeks out of their last box of contact lenses. Wearing contact lenses longer than approved  can cause eye infections, changes in the delicate tissue under the eyelids that will make future lens wear less comfortable, and can even cause corneal damage.

3. Pregnant women should have eye exams to check the optic nerve and retina. At GH Eye we generally do not perform dilated eye examinations for pregnant patients. Instead, we use Optomap technology to get a wide angle panoramic view of the retina. This technology does not use any x-rays.  And, because their eyes are usually not dilated, pregnant patients feel safe driving home after their eye exam at GH Eye.

Comfortable eyeglasses with a current prescription are important because pregnant women are not permitted to wear contact lenses during delivery. Also, I recommend wearing glasses and not extended wear contact lenses during night feedings.

The good news is that unlike clothes or  shoes — the eyeglass frames that a pregnant woman purchases will still fit after delivery. So have fun with eyeglass fashion — buying eyeglass frames is like buying purses — won’t matter if you have added a size or two!

Dr. Ally Stoeger provides annual eye examinations, medical eye care, contact lens examinations and Lasik surgery co-management in the Gainesville-Haymarket area of Virginia. Her practice at GH Eye has a superb collection of  basic and hi-tech lenses and the latest in fashion frames.