The decision to start a family is huge and one that should be made only if it feels right. If you are in the midst of starting your family but have been thinking about getting LASIK, there are some things you should know first. We’ve gathered all of the information we think women should know before attempting laser eye surgery while pregnant or nursing.
LASIK Before, During and After Pregnancy
As you more than likely know, pregnancy causes a lot of big changes in the body. There are a lot of pregnancy symptoms that people don’t talk about. You hear about morning sickness, mood swings, swelling and that coveted pregnancy “glow”, but rarely do you hear anyone talk about how pregnancy can affect your eyes. Here at New York Eye Specialists, we value women as part of our diverse patient base. Therefore, we take into consideration their distinct needs when consulting and caring for them.
How Pregnancy and Nursing Affects Your Vision
When a woman becomes pregnant, or is nursing, their bodies undergo significant hormonal changes. These changes can cause a great deal of swelling throughout the body. This includes the eyes!
When you become pregnant, your corneas can swell and change shape. This can make your vision blurry. While for many women this problem stops after pregnancy, for others, it can last until after they stop nursing.
LASIK Surgery Before Pregnancy
If you are planning to start a family but are not pregnant, there are some things you should consider if you want LASIK pre-baby. Many doctors recommend waiting at least six months after LASIK surgery to become pregnant. Some women have experienced vision regression when not waiting long enough after LASIK. Your vision may return to normal after pregnancy, but you risk needing a LASIK enhancement to achieve the vision you had after your first procedure.
LASIK During Pregnancy
A good LASIK surgeon will not knowingly perform laser eye surgery on a pregnant woman. This is inadvisable for a few reasons. The biggest reason, and one we already touched on, is that her vision will likely regress and she will require a second surgery after pregnancy. Another reason is that pregnant women are extra susceptible to post-LASIK dry eye syndrome.
Pregnancy alone can cause the onset of frustrating dry eye symptoms. A common side effect of LASIK surgery is dry eye. The two together can greatly exacerbate the issue during pregnancy. So, to avoid much unnecessary annoyance and discomfort, we recommend waiting until after pregnancy to undergo LASIK surgery.
LASIK After Pregnancy
LASIK during the nursing period, while not necessarily dangerous, can still yield some of the negative effects mentioned above. Many doctors advise waiting six months after you stop nursing to undergo LASIK eye surgery. This isn’t meant to make vision correction unnecessarily difficult for nursing women, but to keep them from safe from side effects that they otherwise wouldn’t experience.
If you are starting a family but would like to learn about your vision correction options, contact New York Eye Specialists in NYC. Our LASIK experts are here to walk you through the process and help you find the safest way to achieve your vision goals. We look forward to hearing from you!