Dry Eye in Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is a condition where the eyes don’t make enough tears to stay moist. Dry eyes during pregnancy occur due to the changing hormones in the body. Tears not only contain water but also mucus and fatty oils. This mixture maintains the right balance of moisture and keeps it clean. During pregnancy, the body doesn’t make enough of this tear mixture, hence leading to dry eyes.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes in Pregnancy
Dry eyes during pregnancy can either occur in both the eyes or just one eye. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Burning sensation
- Redness and watery eyes
- Blurred vision
- Mucus in and around the eyes
- Tired looking eyes
- Sticky eyelids
- Difficulty in wearing lenses
- Light sensitivity
- Less vision during night time
Causes of Dry Eyes in Pregnancy
One of the major causes for dry eyes in pregnancy is the change in hormonal balance. The body is not in a state to produce the right balance of tear mixture to keep the eyes moist. The eyes are very sensitive during pregnancy. In pregnancy, the tear film becomes thinner and breaks more easily, also making the cornea dry up quickly. Another reason for dry eyes during pregnancy is due to the pressure change in the eye. Other major causes for dry eyes in pregnancy include
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Omega-3 fatty acids deficiency in the diet
- Too much exposure to sunlight
- Exposure to cold or winds
- Wearing contact lenses
Safe Home Remedies for Dry Eyes in Pregnancy
The following simple remedies may help soothe dry eye in pregnancy.
Use A Face Mist
Make a natural face mist at home using sterile water and rose water. Add it in a spray bottle and mist your face several times to freshen dry eyes.
Massage The Eyes
Close your eyes and gently massage the eyelids using your fingers in clockwise direction. Repeat the same in anti-clockwise directions. This massaging helps increase tear production in the eyes.
Wash The Eyes
Make your own sterile water by boiling water and allowing to cool. You can soak cotton pads in cool sterile water and dab on closed eyes. This reduces the stress and pressure in the eyes and keeps them moist.
Tips to Prevent Dry Eyes During Pregnancy
Listed below are some simple strategies you can follow to prevent dry eyes during pregnancy.
- Eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables
- Keeping a humidifier to reduce dry air
- Keeping plants at home to increase moist air
- Taking prenatal vitamins
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding too much screen exposure
- Wearing sunglasses outdoors
If the above strategies do not help you and you are experiencing too much dryness or pain in the eyes, contact your doctor immediately. Watch out for symptoms like pain, blurred vision, dark spots in vision, changes in colour, and inability to focus. These symptoms could be warning signs for something more serious.
Dry eyes in pregnancy are typically harmless and go away either in few weeks or last till your baby is born. Soothing dry eyes with the home remedies mentioned or with simple eye drops can help overcome this condition.