Dry eyes are a outcome of hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy. This article covers the causes, and cures for this eye condition.
A pregnant woman witnesses many emotional and physical changes during her pregnancy. And these changes are an outcome of hormonal changes in the body. Lots of pregnant women complain of eye problems like – dry eyes, blurring of vision, etc. Women who are pregnant and diabetic are also prone to some vision complications, like bleeding in the eye and blurred vision.
Apart from dry eyes, there are also other vision problems that occur when you are pregnant like, trouble wearing contact lenses, because of change in size of the cornea. Dry itchy eyes are also sometimes accompanied by extreme pain and irritation. It is advised that you consult a doctor, in case of consistent pain and severe dryness of eyes. All these changes are only a result of unavoidable hormonal changes, especially the decrease of male hormone androgen.
What Causes It
What causes dryness of eyes during pregnancy apart from the unavoidable hormonal changes? Well there are plenty of other factors that can cause dryness of eyes in pregnant women. Human tears are made up of 4 essential components – water, electrolytes, proteins, and fatty oils. An appropriate balance of these 4 components is essential to maintain the moisture in the eyes. And, if there is an imbalance in the composition of these components, eye worries like dry eyes are bound to occur.
Less production of tears due to fault in the tear production mechanism of the eyes is also one of the causes that affects your eyes during pregnancy. Apart from these causes, factors like exposure of eyes to radiation (people who have been through laser eye treatment more often complain of dry eyes), and use of certain drugs and medications (especially the use of birth control pills and anti depressants) can also cause temporary dryness of eyes.
Environmental factors like overexposure to a dry climate or strong dry wind can cause dryness of eyes. Spending long hours before computer, and use of contact lenses can also cause dryness of eyes. What follows next is a compilation of certain measures, that would help you moisten the dry eyes, and also cure the irritation which accompanies it.
Dryness of Eyes During Pregnancy
⇒ To get rid of dryness in the eyes, the optometrist might recommend use of some over-the-counter eye drops. Proper use of these drops as per the dosage helps in curing the dry eyes. Though these drops are easily available over-the-counter, it is advised that you use the drops under medical prescription only. This is because, during pregnancy, risks should be completely avoided, and each step, even if it is buying eye drops for eyes, should be taken through doctor’s advice only.
⇒ Certain steps on your part are also expected to prevent and subsequently cure the dry eyes. Proper eye care measures, which includes cleaning the eyes with cold water, at least thrice a day is very important. Splashing cold water on eyes flushes out dirt from the eyes and also helps in tear production, which is necessary to cure dry eyes. Another simple way to clean the eyes is using cotton wool moistened with rose water.
⇒ As moisture is the key element to treat dry eyes, certain steps like use of humidifier assumes importance. The use of humidifier is essential to get rid of the dry atmosphere, as it also brings moisture in the air around.
⇒ Gentle massage of the eye lids stimulates the production of the mucus from the glands at the eye lids, and so massage the eye lids gently with your fore fingers daily before going to bed.
⇒ The eyes should also be protected from dust and smoke, as chemicals in the air harm the eyes and can hamper the essential tear production. Make use of protective eye gears to protect the eyes from smoke. Cigarette smoking also contributes to smoke, and so smoking, which includes both active and passive should be avoided for the best.
⇒ Vitamin A deficiency is a potential cause for dryness of your eyes when you are pregnant. So, intake of vitamin A supplements is of huge significance. Fruits and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, and so they should be a part of your regular diet.
Last but not least, eating healthy food especially fruits is very important and plays an indirect role in treating dry eyes. Drinking lots of water, that is around 2 liters a day also keeps the body and indirectly the eyes hydrated. It is not a major health concern, and it lasts only during the pregnancy months, especially during the first trimester. Also, medical help should be sought if there is chronic and acute dryness, which is getting severe day by day.