Your eyes are two of the most important organs in your body but you could be damaging them without even knowing it. It’s fairly common knowledge that the sun can be damaging to your eye health, but would you be surprised to learn that pregnancy can be hard on the eyes as well? Here’s a list of things affecting your vision you may not have thought about.

Pregnancy

There is more than meets the eye (pun intended) when it comes to pregnancy and eye health. During pregnancy, women can experience dry eyes, puffy or swollen eyelids, and blurry vision. Conditions that can occur during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, can further affect the eyes with more serious consequences.

Preeclampsia can cause sensitivity to light, blurry vision, flashing lights, and auras while the high blood sugar levels associated with gestational diabetes can damage the small blood vessels that supply blood to the retinas. This can cause blurry vision or other serious eye problems.

Screen Time

There has been mixed research on the effect that TV has on vision but new studies show that the blue light from TV’s and other screens, including cell phones and tablets, may be harmful to the retina. Too much screen time can lead to computer vision syndrome, the effects of which include eyestrain, blurry vision, and headaches.

Smoke

Smoke is harmful to your eyes as well as your lungs. Smoking damages blood vessels and can cause cataracts and macular degeneration. Smokers are two or three times more likely to develop cataracts than non-smokers.

Lack of Sleep

Even just one hour less of sleep in a night can have consequences for your eye health. In the short term, a lack of sleep can cause eye spasms as a result of the eyes not having enough rest to work at their full potential. Long term side effects of not getting enough sleep include dry eye or popped blood vessels due to eye strain.

Coffee

While some studies show that drinking coffee can help protect your eyes, contradictory studies have shown that coffee drinkers actually have an increased risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma. There is a compound contained in coffee that when mixed with caffeine, causes an increased risk of developing this form of glaucoma.

Medication

Medications can cause many eye problems ranging from minor dry eyes all the way up to vision loss. Some medications, like diuretics, antihistamines, and birth control pills, limit the body’s ability to make tears which results in dry eyes. Long term orticosteroid use can cause both cataracts and glaucoma.

Sensitivity to light is a side effect of acne medications, diuretics, and antibiotics. It’s especially important to take extra precautions to avoid the sun if you’re taking any of these medications because the sun can be harmful to the eyes on its own without the added sensitivity the medications cause.

Regular eye exams are an integral part of maintaining optimal eye health, especially with so many surprising factors influencing it. EyeCare 20/20 wants you to know that your vision is important to us. Contact us today to book a consultation.

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