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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 1526-1532

Motherhood: What every ophthalmologist needs to know

Department of Ophthalmology, AIIMS, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arvind K Morya
Department of Ophthalmology, AIIMS, Jodhpur - 342 005, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2033_19

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The aim of this review article is to summarize the available literature on physiologic and pathologic ocular changes during pregnancy and the effect of diseases in pregnancy. A literature search was conducted using PUBMED, MEDLINE, and Cochrane library in English. In addition, the cited references in the published articles were manually reviewed for the relevant results. Pregnancy encompasses a multitude of changes in all body systems, including the visual system of the female. The changes can be physiological, i.e., changes occurring in the lids and adnexa, cornea, conjunctiva, changes in tear film composition and intraocular pressure, retina, choroid, and visual field. Pathological changes in a pregnant woman's eye include changes related to preeclampsia and eclampsia, central serous chorioretinopathy, retinal artery or vein occlusions, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Preexisting diseases like diabetic retinopathy, Graves' disease, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, various inflammatory conditions can undergo changes in their course during pregnancy. Ophthalmic medications can have an effect on both mother and the baby and hence should be used cautiously. In addition, intrauterine infections play a major role in causing inflammation in the eye of the baby. Hence, vaccination of the mother prior to pregnancy plays an important role in preventing intrauterine infections in the neonate. A regular eye examination in the perinatal period plays a vital role in recognizing ophthalmic pathologies which might require a prompt medical intervention. Pathological ocular diseases should be discriminated from physiologic changes to establish an individualized treatment or preventive plan. This approach to ocular benefits of treatment to the mother should always weigh against the potential harm to the fetus.

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