The eyes have it

By Published On: April 20th, 2015

I had an appointment with my eye doctor last week. […]

IMG_2215I had an appointment with my eye doctor last week. I’ve worn contacts since I was 10—my vision is pretty bad. But it’s not nearly as awful as it was before I started having kids. That’s right—I’m living, sometimes bespectacled, proof that pregnancy can actually improve your vision.
After my oldest was born, I started having pretty frequent headaches in the late afternoon. I was jumping around from one eye doctor to another right around this time, and I scheduled an appointment with a new optometrist when I ran out of contact lenses and couldn’t order more without a prescription.
I ran through the checklist in the waiting room, checking the box next to “headaches.” It turned out, my prescription at the time was seriously over-correcting my vision and giving me those wicked afternoon headaches. Mystery solved! Also: Awesome! My vision, which had deteriorated steadily for years before plateauing at “horribly fuzzy,” had actually significantly improved during my pregnancy.
Fast forward two years, and I was back in for another appointment after having my second baby. Spoiler: My vision had improved yet again, though not as impressively as the first time. My doctor joked that if I kept having kids, I’d have 20/20 vision.
She jinxed me, clearly, because pregnancies three and four did absolutely nothing for my eyes. No improvement. (But no decline either, so I really can’t complain).
Before you get too excited, though, I have to tell you that the professionals all say improved vision is a really rare side effect of pregnancy. Experts aren’t really sure, but they figure the change has something to do with hydration changes to the cornea. Or hormones. (You can blame everything on hormones.) For the vast majority of all you pregnant ladies reading this, nothing will happen to your eyes either way. And for the few of you who are affected (all two of you—high five!), these changes are usually temporary.
But! Here I am, six years after baby No. 2, and still rocking the same prescription. Spider veins too, unfortunately, but also eyesight that went from “horribly fuzzy” to “moderately fuzzy.”
It’s another pregnancy miracle.