Pregnancy can bring about a variety of changes to a woman’s body, including changes to the eyes and vision. Ophthalmologists should be aware of these potential pregnancy-related eye problems, which may require prompt evaluation and management. Here are some of the most common pregnancy-related eye problems:
- Transient loss of accommodation: Pregnant women may experience difficulty focusing on near objects, which can be caused by increased levels of hormones and fluid retention. This condition is usually temporary and resolves after delivery.
- Preeclampsia-related eye problems: Preeclampsia is a potentially serious pregnancy complication that can affect the eyes. This condition can lead to serous retinal detachment, non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), and posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES).
- Occlusive vascular disorders: Pregnant women may be at increased risk of occlusive vascular disorders, such as central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) or central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). These conditions can cause sudden vision loss and require prompt evaluation and management.
- Cavernous sinus thrombosis: Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a rare but serious complication of pregnancy that can cause eye pain, proptosis, and visual changes. This condition requires immediate medical attention.
- Meningioma growth: Women who have previously been diagnosed with a meningioma may experience growth of the tumor during pregnancy. This can cause visual changes and may require surgical intervention.
- Worsening idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH): IIH is a condition that causes increased pressure within the skull, leading to headaches, vision changes, and other symptoms. Pregnancy can exacerbate this condition, and women with IIH should be closely monitored during pregnancy.
- Worsening of diabetic retinopathy: Pregnant women with diabetes may experience worsening of diabetic retinopathy during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. This can lead to vision changes and may require additional monitoring and management.
In conclusion, ophthalmologists should be aware of the potential pregnancy-related eye problems that can occur, including transient loss of accommodation, preeclampsia-related eye problems, occlusive vascular disorders, cavernous sinus thrombosis, meningioma growth, and worsening IIH. Prompt evaluation and management of these conditions is important to ensure the best possible outcomes for both the mother and the baby.