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Is Dry Eye During Pregnancy Normal?

Jun 1, 2024 | Dry Eye

Congratulations on your pregnancy! While this is an exciting time in your life, you may be experiencing some unexpected changes in your body, including dry eye. This condition occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to irritation, redness, and discomfort. Dry eye during pregnancy is a common issue that many women face. In this blog post, we will explore why dry eyes occur during pregnancy and how you can find relief. 

Dry eye and pregnancy 

During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect different parts of the body, including your eyes. Hormone fluctuations can disrupt tear production, resulting in symptoms such as stinging, burning, and blurry vision. Changes in blood circulation during pregnancy can also affect the tear glands and reduce tear production. Additionally, changes in diet, hydration levels, and sleep patterns during pregnancy can impact tear quality and quantity. While dry eye during pregnancy is common, it is not necessarily permanent. Many women find relief from their symptoms after giving birth and their hormone levels return to normal. 

How to treat dry eyes 

If you’re struggling with dry eyes during pregnancy, there are steps you can take to find relief: 

  • Stay hydrated: Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated, including your eyes. 
  • Use artificial tears: These over-the-counter eye drops can provide relief in mild cases of dry eyes. Look for preservative-free ones to avoid the irritation preservatives can cause.  
  • Try using warm compresses: Placing a warm compress on your closed eyes can help soften and break up blockages in your oil glands, relieving dry eye symptoms. 
  • Eat well: Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids along with vitamins A, C, and E can help support your eye health. 
  • Take screen breaks: Remember to take breaks from staring at screens to give your eyes a rest and blink more often to keep them moist. 
  • Be mindful of airflow: Try to avoid direct blasts of air from fans or air conditioning that can dry out your eyes faster. 
  • Use a humidifier: Using a humidifier at home can add some moisture to the air and prevent your eyes from drying out. 
  • Clean your eyelids: Keep your eyelids clean with a gentle cleanser to prevent any inflammation that could worsen dry eye symptoms. 
  • Wear sunglasses: Don’t forget your shades when you’re out and about to shield your eyes from wind and sun that can make dry eyes worse. 
  • Visit your eye doctor: If your dry eye symptoms persist or appear to be getting worse, you should schedule an eye exam with your optometrist. They can assess your eyes and recommend the best treatment options for lasting relief.  

In conclusion, experiencing dry eye during pregnancy is completely normal due to hormonal changes and increased blood volume associated with being pregnant. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in discomfort! At Lighthouse Vision, our dry eye specialists in Milford, Connecticut offer advanced dry eye treatment options and a range of dry eye products to help you feel better and enjoy this special time in your life. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!