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"Does pregnancy cause eye irritation?"


I am a woman, 31 years old, pregnant with my first child. At the beginning of my second trimester, I began having extensive eye irritation. Both of my eyes are inflamed, bloodshot, achy. Is this a normal side effect of pregnancy for some women? I wear glasses - does that matter?


The short answer to your question is, yes, pregnancy can cause these symptoms! Basically, what happens is that the levels of hormones in your body during pregnancy result in decreased production of tears. This can make your eyes feel dry and gritty more than usual. Furthermore, if you have an underlying disposition, such as allergic conjunctivitis, or eye allergies, the decrease in tears will tend to make this much worse.

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You can of course use rewetting drops, but you should avoid drops designed to decrease redness, as these have a rebound effect after a few days and can make things worse. The best solution would be to look for an underlying condition. For example, if you have allergies, your eye doctor may prescribe some anti-allergy eye drops. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your eye doctor or your OB / GYN doctor is highly recommended.

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