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Eye Problems During Pregnancy

Problems with your eyes could pop up during pregnancy, but don't worry. You can expect them to correct themselves after the baby comes.

Dry eyes
Hormonal changes cause the body to produce fewer tears, so eyes are often left feeling irritated and gritty, and may be red and sensitive to light. But watch out for drops designed to get rid of the red-eye effect: They constrict blood vessels and increase irritation, says Alan Shabo, M.D., clinical professor of ophthalmology at the UCLA School of Medicine. Look for nonvasoconstrictive ones instead. If you use drops more than four times a day, call an ophthalmologist.

Also try cutting down on the following (or at least take a five-minute break): staring at a computer screen sitting under fluorescent lights, and being surrounded by forced air from radiators or air conditioners. If you wear contacts, take them out sooner.

Weaker vision
Pregnant women often say their lenses "no longer work." But it's more likely that their corneas are swollen from fluid retention. So unless your contacts feel tight or uncomfortable, or you need perfect eyesight at work, you don't require a new prescription. Your vision should eventually return to normal.