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How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Eyesight

Pregnancy can impact almost every part of a woman’s body and health — including her eyes. In fact, an estimated 14% of pregnant women report experiencing visual changes during pregnancy that usually resolve on their own within a couple of months after giving birth.

Knowing the different visual symptoms that can present when you’re expecting can help alert you to potential underlying health concerns that your physician may need to address.

Normal Visual Changes During Pregnancy

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is the most common visual symptom that pregnant women may experience. Hormonal fluctuations are usually to blame for the temporary decrease in visual acuity, and your eyesight will likely return to normal soon after giving birth.

The influx of pregnancy hormones causes fluid retention in some areas of the body and can cause the cornea to thicken slightly. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused accurately and vision may be blurred.

Less commonly, blurred vision can signal gestational diabetes, a pregnancy complication affecting 6-9% of pregnant women. The rise in blood sugar level impacts the focusing lens of the eye, leading to blurry vision. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, including gestational diabetes, it’s a good idea to book an eye exam to monitor for retinal changes.

Blurred vision is also a common side effect of dry eye syndrome, a condition characterized by tears that don’t adequately lubricate the eyes, which can be brought on or exacerbated by pregnancy.

Eye Dryness

Pregnancy hormones can cause a reduction in the amount of tears your eyes produce or affect the quality of the tears. These changes can affect a woman throughout her entire pregnancy, but studies show that eye dryness is particularly common in the last trimester. For this reason, some women find it difficult to wear contact lenses in their third trimester and temporarily switch to glasses.

Eye Puffiness

Yet another body part that swells during pregnancy: the eyelids and tissues around the eyes.

Pregnancy-related water retention may cause your eyelids to appear puffier than during your pre-pregnancy days. You may also notice darker areas under the eyes. If your puffy eyes bother you, try limiting your salt and caffeine intake, as they can worsen the problem.

Visual Changes That May Indicate a Problem

The following visual changes warrant a prompt call to your eye doctor or obstetrician to rule out any underlying complications.

Flashes or floaters

Seeing stars during pregnancy can signal high blood pressure, which is associated with preeclampsia — a serious medical condition that requires close monitoring by your physician and possible treatment.

It’s crucial to have your blood pressure monitored throughout your pregnancy, as preeclampsia can potentially endanger the life of mother and child, as well as damage the cornea and retina.

Temporary vision loss

Temporary vision loss is concerning for pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Vision loss is another warning sign of preeclampsia, so contact your doctor promptly if you suddenly lose any portion of your visual field.

Sensitivity to light

Light-sensitivity can either be a normal side effect of fluid retention in the eye, or it can signal dangerously high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

How We Can Help

At ​​Advanced EyeCare Center, our goal is to keep your vision and eyes healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you experience any visual symptoms, we can help by thoroughly examining your eyes to determine the underlying cause and provide you with guidance on what next steps to take.

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, when self care should be at the forefront — and that includes comprehensive eye care.

To schedule an eye exam or learn more about our eye care services, call Advanced EyeCare Center in Phoenix today!

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Q&A With Our Eye Doctor in Phoenix, Arizona

Why are regular eye exams important?

Having your eyes evaluated by an optometrist on a regular basis is crucial for detecting early signs of eye diseases and changes in your prescription, including during pregnancy. Many serious eye diseases don’t cause any noticeable symptoms until they’ve progressed to late stages, when damage to vision may be irreversible. Whether or not you wear glasses or contact lenses for vision correction, ask your optometrist about how often to schedule a routine eye exam.

Will my baby need an eye exam after birth?

According to the American Optometric Association and the Canadian Association of Optometrists, babies should have an eye exam within the first 6-12 months of life, even in the absence of noticeable vision problems. Healthy vision is a significant part of healthy overall development, so be sure not to skip your baby’s eye exams!

Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?

Advanced Eye Care Center Dilated Eye Exam near you in Phoenix, Arizona

Having your eyes dilated during an eye exam may seem like a nuisance. But when you consider the benefits of a dilated eye exam, the temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light that typically follow are definitely worth it.

What Are Dilated Eye Exams?

At some point during a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will shine a bright light into your eyes to examine the back of your eye, called the retina. The problem is that bright light causes the size of the pupil’s opening to shrink, which makes it hard for the optometrist to see a large portion of the retina.

That’s why eye doctors apply special eye drops in each eye to keep the pupils open. A dilated pupil allows for a much more accurate assessment of your eye’s structures, including the focusing lens, blood vessels and tissues at the back of the eye called the retina, as well as the optic nerve and macula.

Dilating the eyes makes it easier for your optometrist to detect the following conditions and diseases:

It’s important to note that many of these conditions can develop without noticeable symptoms, until they cause vision loss at which point treatment may be more challenging, making dilated eye exams all the more crucial.

The Dilation Process

First, your eye doctor will apply eye drops to each eye to trigger dilation of the pupil. Your eyes should be fully dilated about 10-20 minutes later.

Your eyes will remain dilated for 4-6 hours, and during this time you may be sensitive to light. That’s because the larger pupil allows more light than usual to enter the eye. Many patients find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses until their eyes return to normal.

Reading and using a computer may be difficult with dilated eyes, and your vision may be blurred. Some patients report feeling a tightening sensation in their eyelids, or headaches.

Dilated eye exams are a crucial part of keeping your eyes healthy. To request

your comprehensive eye exam, call Advanced Eye Care Center in Phoenix today!

Advanced Eye Care Center, your Phoenix eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, request an appointment here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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At what age should one have a dilated eye exam?

You should have your dilated eye exam no matter your age. Most eye doctors will dilate a new patient at their first exam regardless of age to get a baseline of their retinal health.

Will I be able to return to work after a dilated eye exam?

Everyone reacts differently, so it’s hard to tell. If your job requires you to focus on small print or detail, it may be challenging. Typing and writing may also be difficult with dilated pupils. To be on the safe side, book your appointment at the end of your work day, clear your request after your eye exam and only plan to do activities which aren’t visually demanding.

See Under the Sea & in the Swimming Pool Too

Wear goggles for clear & healthy underwater vision

You don’t swim naked at a public beach or swimming pool, and you shouldn’t swim with naked eyes either! At the beach, it’s hard to know if ocean water is really clean and not polluted, and the sand and salt content can make your eyes sting. If you prefer swimming in a pool, remember that while pool water can be clean, that’s only because it’s packed with chlorine, which can seriously irritate your eyes, stripping away your lubricating film and causing redness, pain, and blurry vision.

Goggles are the ideal solution for protecting your delicate eyes against the harshness of water. Also, due to advanced materials and modern engineering of the lenses in swim goggles, they provide crisper underwater vision than ever before! Your knowledgeable Phoenix eye doctor explains about the benefits and features of goggles:

Prescription goggles

If you normally need eyeglasses or contacts to see above water, our Phoenix optometrist strongly recommends buying a pair of prescription goggles for underwater vision. For you to see, light rays reflect off an object, enter your eyes, and are focused on your retina clearly. However, light rays don’t function the same way when they are in water. That’s why the floor of a swimming pool appears higher up than it really is. In general, goggles correct this problem by creating an air-filled gap around your eyes. But this doesn’t give sharp sight to swimmers who need vision correction. If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you’ll need prescription goggles to see.

Wearing contact lenses and standard goggles

A lot of people are in the habit of wearing standard goggles over their contact lenses, instead of purchasing a pair of prescription goggles. What’s the problem with this? Actually, water is the problem.

Water in all bodies – lakes, pools, oceans, and hot tubs – is a natural breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. While your body and your eyes have a built-in defense system to protect against these menacing microbes, contact lenses interfere with your eye’s protection. Consequently, swimming with contact lenses increases your risk of getting an eye infection.

Acanthamoeba keratitis is an extremely hazardous eye infection caused by amoeba being trapped between your contact lens and your cornea. Sometimes, amoeba start to live in your eye, leading to corneal ulcers and permanent vision loss. This type of infection only happens to people who wear contact lenses, which underscores our Phoenix eye doctor’s warning against swimming with contacts!

Now, we also realize that many people will insist on wearing contact lenses at the beach or pool – despite all of our warnings. If you’re one of those people, here are some tips to help you minimize the danger to your eye health:

  • Wear daily disposable contacts for swimming, since you throw them out after a single use. Remove them immediately after you come out of the water, rinse your eyes with artificial tears and replace your lenses with a new, clean pair.
  • Even if you’re didn’t fully dip into the water, if any drops fall into your eyes, remove your contacts immediately and throw them out, or disinfect them if you aren’t wearing disposables.
  • Never open your eyes underwater
  • Never go swimming and then doze off on the shore or poolside with your lenses still in your eyes

Top features for goggles – recommended by our Phoenix optometrist

  • Prescription lenses, if you generally need eyewear with vision correction
  • Shatterproof lenses
  • Anti-fog treatment
  • Leak-free lenses that seal comfortably around your eyes
  • Built-in UV protection
  • Surfers should wear polarized lenses to protect against reflected glare, which can be very intense on the water
  • Competitive swimmers and divers should choose frames with a low profile
  • Recreational lap swimmers do best with larger lenses (they give wider peripheral vision), and more padded frames

More questions about swimming and vision? Ask our Phoenix eye doctor!

Before you dive into the blue, sparkling waters at the beach or swimming pool, consult with an expert optometrist near you. We’ll help you find the safest way to have sharp underwater vision and a fabulous look! If you do experience irritated eyes, strange discharge, pain, sensitivity or redness after wearing your contact lenses while swimming, contact us immediately for an eye exam at Advanced EyeCare Center.

EDC for Sunglasses Lovers

Review of your everyday carry collection for outdoor vision

What are your daily eyewear essentials for the sunny outdoors? Whether you need prescription eyeglasses to see or not, sunglasses are a must for your personal EDC. And so are many of the updated accessories that trend with them.

To help you put together the best EDC collection for sunglasses lovers, the staff at our Phoenix, Arizona, vision care center put together this rundown of different elements that matter:

Features for your EDC sunglasses frames

Just like your EDC must be streamlined and lightweight, sunglasses shouldn’t weigh you down. The lighter your glasses, the more comfortable they are on your face and for toting around in your bag or tucked into your collar.

  • Lightweight doesn’t mean fragile. Sunglasses take a lot of abuse and need to have a durable construction with scratch-resistant lenses.
  • A snug – but not pinching – fit is necessary. It’s best to buy frames that are slightly wider than your face, so the temples fit smoothly around your ears, but not loosely or they’ll slip off. It unsightly and annoying to keep pushing your sunglasses up on your nose every few minutes.
  • Lenses must give ultimate function, with 100% UVA and UVB protection and a tint that promotes top performance, as well as soothes your eyes in bright light.
  • As the foundation of all the features above, your EDC sunglasses should have an affordable price tag, not so high that if you lose them it’ll burn a hole in your EDC wallet.

Storage designs for EDC sunglasses

One of the most efficient ways to store sunglasses is in their own customized case. Look out for frames that are engineered to fold up in a collapsible, storable case. Otherwise, there’s a fabulous variety of conventional, and not-so-conventional cases that fit efficiently into your EDC.

  • Microfiber pouches are weightless and prevent smudges and scratches on your lenses as they bump in your bag.
  • Going camping or engaging in the extreme? Semi-rigid cases with a protective padded liner are rugged without bulk. They’re ideal for active people who have real concerns about crushing their EDC sunglasses.
  • Ultralight zippered neoprene cases with a clip are flexible and convenient, attach them to your belt loop or bag for easy access. Plus, they come in a rainbow of fabrics for fun wearing.

Sunglasses straps

One might argue that the primary function of eyewear straps is to keep sunglasses on while playing sports, but they certainly have additional advantages. For example, if you take your sunglasses on and off constantly and are then fretless to find them, you’re the perfect candidate for making straps a part of your EDC.

Also called eyewear retainers or simply neck cords, these accessories are crafted from various materials. Once upon a time, they were all made from bulky chains, but fortunately for your modern EDC, they’re now made from more contemporary materials – such as nylon climbing rope, neoprene, knitted cotton yarn (washable!), stainless steel wires, and silicone. Choose a lightweight strap with slip-less temple grips that are easy to slide on your sunglasses. If you’re concerned about restricting your neck mobility, don’t buy a design that rests on your neck.

Cleaning cloths for sunglasses

What good are your sunglasses if you can’t see through the lenses? A compact eyewear cleaning kit will fit easily into your EDC. For heavy dirt buildup, there are biodegradable sprays that come with mini-microfiber cloths – give a spritz and wipe for a gleaming shine. Or forego the spray, and polish fingerprints off your sunglasses with a nonabrasive smudge-buster cloth.

Where can you buy sunglasses EDC?

We stock a wide range of inventive, high quality eyewear accessories in our Phoenix, Arizona, optical store. As you equip yourself for days spent outdoors, pop in to Advanced EyeCare Center to choose sunglasses and all the helpful EDC to complement them.

At Advanced EyeCare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 623-552-2155 or book an appointment online to see one of our Phoenix eye doctors.

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