Unfortunately, pregnant women do not receive NHS funded eye examinations. However, if you match certain criteria, such as claiming certain financial benefits you may be entitled to an NHS funded eye examination in a NHS registered practice..
What Happens to Your Eyes During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, you may experience changes to your vision caused by hormonal changes. The most concerning visual issue that occurs during pregnancy is blurred vision and, although this can be a worrisome development, it is rarely a permanent change. Due to the changes in your hormonal balances, some people notice these issues in the early weeks of pregnancy, however, these changes can occur at any point during pregnancy. As always, any changes in your vision should be followed-up by a visit to your opticians to determine the cause.
How Can Your Eyes Change During Pregnancy?
Although many of these issues are minor and temporary, some eye problems linked to pregnancy may require medical attention. These symptoms may include:
During pregnancy, you may notice that your eyes are drier than usual as hormonal changes can affect the structure of the tear film. This can cause your eyes to feel gritty and you may find your contact lenses uncomfortable.Preservative free artificial tears can be used to help alleviate the discomfort.
If you aren’t sure which eye drops will work for you, simply pay a visit to your local Taylor-West & Co branch and your optician will advise you on the best drops for your eyes and condition.
Fluctuating hormones can even cause fluid retention during pregnancy , a common side effect of pregnancy which can also change the thickness and shape of your cornea. Although this can lead to blurred vision, these changes will typically go away after the delivery of your baby or after you stop breastfeeding.
Usually it is only required to monitor things as the vision often returns to normal once you have had the baby or stopped breastfeeding.
High Blood Pressure / Pre-eclampsia
Your midwife will often warn you to look out for sudden blurring or loss of vision, which can be a sign of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia which requires prompt treatment Occurring in only a small number of pregnant people, preeclampsia is recognised by high blood pressure and protein in your urine.
Symptoms may include:
- Severe headache
- Blurred or double vision
- Light sensitivity
- Flashing lights in vision
- Pain just below the ribs
- Swelling of the face, hands and/or feet.
If you recognise any of these symptoms it is important you seek medical advice immediately by calling your midwife, GP surgery, optometrist or NHS 111.
Pre-existing eye conditions
It is important to regularly visit your doctor should you have any other associated general healthy conditions such as diabetes or thyroid eye disease that can affect the eyes.
If you currently use any treatment for a pre-existing ocular conditions, you should check that any treatment is safe to use during pregnancy
Our Eye Care Plan for Pregnant Women
While we are unable to offer free eye tests to pregnant women, our Care Plan includes the highest standard eye examinations, as well as emergency appointments as often as you need them.
For £9 per month, you will receive the following generous benefits with our Care Plan:
- Comprehensive eye examinations, repeat tests, and emergency appointments
- 10% loyalty discount on all eyewear – including designer spectacles and sunglasses
- 10% discount off accessories and eye drops
- Free spectacle frame styling sessions and advice
- Free spectacle repairs and frame MOTs as and when you need it
For £13 per month, our Contact Lens Plan includes all of the above benefits, as well as specific advantages for contact lens wearers, such as all contact lens aftercare, refits and health checks, and even 30% off our contact lens prices. We can also ship your new contact lenses directly to you every three months.