Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and your eyes – Carlsbad LASIK
It’s common for women to experience a variety of symptoms during pregnancy, ranging from nausea to swollen feet. One symptom that many women aren’t expecting is the effect on their vision. In fact, pregnancy and breastfeeding can have a significant effect on vision for many women.
Pregnancy can change your vision
Pregnant women tend to notice that their vision is not as sharp as it was before pregnancy. The effect ranges from mild to severe. Some women barely notice the difference, while others have trouble reading street signs. Most women become more nearsighted, but the effect can vary between different women.
How does this happen? The ultimate cause is similar to the one that causes swollen feet and hands. The hormone shifts of pregnancy lead to fluid shifts within the body. Fluids accumulate in the cornea (the outer clear part of the eye), which changes the way that the cornea bends light.
Vision can remain altered during the breastfeeding period
Because the body’s hormone levels remain altered during breastfeeding, the visual changes can persist throughout the nursing period. A woman who doesn’t breastfeed will likely find that her vision returns to normal within several weeks after delivering the baby. A breastfeeding mother may continue to have altered vision until a few weeks after the child is weaned.
Women should wait to get LASIK until after pregnancy
If you’ve been considering LASIK, it’s important to wait to have your procedure until after you’re done with pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you have the procedure during pregnancy, then the results may be unsatisfying once your eyes go back to normal after the pregnancy is over. It’s very important that you tell your LASIK specialist if you’re pregnant (even if it’s very early in the pregnancy) or breastfeeding (even if only infrequently). Your provider will likely advise you to wait to have your procedure to get the best results.
If you have already had LASIK and then you become pregnant, you may experience vision changes during the pregnancy. However, once your body returns to its baseline after pregnancy and breastfeeding are completed, your eyes should return to normal. If you’re not currently pregnant, but you are considering having kids in the future, it’s fine to go ahead and have your LASIK procedure.
Those seeking LASIK in or around Carlsbad, CA, should visit an eye care professional to discuss the possibility of having this life-changing procedure. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to wait until at least a few weeks after pregnancy and breastfeeding are completed, to allow the body to return to its normal baseline. Our Carlsbad LASIK patients love our friendly provider, comfortable office environment, and – best of all – the great results they experience. Come and see us at North County Laser Eye Associates to learn more about how LASIK can free you from the hassles of glasses or contacts.