A Sam’s Club Optometrist addresses changes in vision for women during pregnancy, experiencing menopause and while managing diabetes.

Q: If a woman notices changes in vision during pregnancy, should she be concerned?

A: Pregnancy can bring about various changes to the eyes. Blurry vision can be caused by hormonal imbalances and fluid retention that leads to thickness and shape changes of the cornea. In most cases, these changes will resolve after delivery. However, it is important to see your eye doctor should you notice any of these changes, as they could also be related to more serious conditions such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes.

Q: During what other life stages might you notice a temporary change of vision?

A: Hormonal changes in women going through menopause can cause vision changes very similar to pregnancy. In addition, patients in their early 40s may start to notice a vision change called presbyopia, which affects the ability to focus on nearby objects and is a normal aging change that can be corrected with the use of reading glasses, bifocals or contact lenses. Lastly, cataracts can cause glare, halos, difficulty with night driving and trouble reading without good lighting. Cataracts are most common in the elderly and are caused by cloudiness of the natural crystalline lens inside the eye.

Q: How can an optometrist help with diabetes management?

A: Optometrists can help manage patients who have diabetes with dilated eye examinations to check for signs of diabetic retinopathy and macular edema. The eye is unique in that optometrists can visualize blood vessels without invasively cutting into the patients body. If there are blood vessel changes in the eye, blood vessel changes in other areas of the body are very likely. It is extremely important that all diabetics have at least an annual dilated eye exam.

Q: People sometimes want colored contacts to change-up their look. Are there any risks associated with using colored contacts?

A: Colored contacts have the same associated risks as clear prescription contacts. Patients must realize that contacts are medical devices that should be fitted by your doctor. An improperly fitting contact lens can lead to various ocular infections and inflammation. It is important to disinfect contacts daily and to never sleep or swim in contacts unless directed. You always want to dispose of them appropriately and wear them for the number of hours specified by your doctor. Should you notice any pain, discomfort, redness, light sensitivity or decrease in vision, remove your contacts and call your eye doctor.

Do you have an experience at the Sam’s Club Optical Center you would like to share?Send us comments or feedback at hlms@samsclub.com, or write us at: Healthy Living Mad Simple,1703 Phyllis St., Suite 202, Bentonville, AR 72712.