There is an opinion that says, women who have minus eyes should not give birth normally. The question is, is this just a myth? If you have previously had an experience of giving birth with minus eyes and were advised to have a cesarean delivery – because of these eye problems – it is better if you read the explanation below.
Experience of Childbirth with Minus Eyes, Normal Delivery Can, How come!
Changes in Eye Quality During Pregnancy
When a woman is pregnant, what changes in her is not only her body shape but also her hormones. Fluctuations in these hormones can affect eye conditions and vision, as well as metabolism, fluid retention, blood circulation and the immune system. A common eye problem during pregnancy is myopia or exacerbation of existing myopia.
However page Eye Clinic said, even if this happens, this condition is temporary and the eyes will return to their original state after delivery.
If you experience vision problems during pregnancy, do the following:
- Immediately consult a gynecologist or perform an ophthalmological examination. Many mothers do not include this complaint in the prenatal examination.
- Do not use eye drops or take any eye medication.
Related article: LASIK Eye Surgery During Pregnancy, Danger or Not?
Eye Problems During Pregnancy
Besides myopia, other common eye problems during pregnancy according to Eye Clinic are as follows:
- Cornea (clear membrane in the anterior segment of the eye). Due to hormonal changes, minor changes in their curvature and thickness (edema) may occur, leading to intolerance to contact lenses.
- Decreased visual acuity (visual acuity). Changes in visual acuity usually occur because the mother has gestational diabetes. and for this reason, doctors should be notified immediately of any changes in vision.
- Headaches and migraines due to hormonal changes can cause high sensitivity to light in the eyes.
- Reduced eye visualization. The mother loses some of the visual field during pregnancy, the blind spots of the eyes widen. This change is completely reversible and needs further examination.
- Preeclampsia – Eclampsia. Sudden onset of hypertension at 20 weeks of gestation (occurs in 5% of pregnant women). If hypertension is accompanied by chills, the condition is called eclampsia. The other most common symptoms are blurred vision with headache, photopsy, and diplopia. Approximately 10% of women with eclampsia exhibit retinal edema, serous detachment and acute ischemic optic neuritis. All of these conditions are reversible 1-2 weeks after blood pressure drops or after delivery.
- Central serous retinopathy. Usually occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy.
- High Myopia. Myopia or nearsightedness is a condition in which a person has difficulty seeing objects at a distance. Statistics in the group of women with -4.5 to -15.0 diopters—even those with previous myopic damage to the fundus, tears or detachments that were restored by laser or surgery—show this problem resolves postpartum.
Related article: Eyes often have problems after giving birth? This is the cause and how to fix it
Increased Cases of Cesarean Delivery Related to Eye Problems
Previously mentioned, at the stage of pushing the fetus out (straining) through the birth canal – in normal delivery – mothers with myopia are at risk for retinal detachment, which is a condition in which the retina separates from the layer below it (at the back of the eye) and then causes permanent vision loss or blindness. So it is recommended to only caesarean.
This explanation then, according to nature, increased the number of cesarean delivery experiences, particularly in Eastern Europe, by 21% in 2015. This number is more than double the number of cesarean deliveries over the past two decades.
In 2019, researchers at the University Clinical Hospital Rijeka in Russia also found that cesarean deliveries by mothers with myopia were 1.5 times higher than mothers without myopia since 2009. In 2010, researchers in Poland reported that there were 2% (100 of 4,895) caesarean sections performed between 2000-2008 at Dr Jan Biziel University Hospital, Poland. The surgery was based on a written recommendation from an ophthalmologist who said the patient had myopia and other ophthalmologists.
A cesarean section is very necessary, especially if the mother has health problems that do not allow her to give birth normally. But in the case of myopia or other eye problems, it turns out that it is only temporary during pregnancy. The condition of the mother’s eyes will return to normal postpartum. So the mother actually does not need to do a cesarean.
Mother with Myopia Must Cesarean, Myth!
However, mechanically or physiologically, consultant eye surgeon at Warwick Hospital, England, Samer Elsherbiny, said there was no link between myopia and normal delivery. Alejandro Fernández-Montero, an occupational physician at the University of Navarra, Spain, also said in 2017, that a woman’s risk of experiencing or developing myopia while pregnant is very low.
The myth persists because of fears that more serious problems will occur when the mother has a normal delivery. When the mother performs the Valsalva maneuver (forced breathing when the airways close to increase chest and abdominal pressure to push the fetus into the birth canal), the forceful pressure causes the capillaries in the eye to burst and develop Valsalva retinopathy.
Another concern is the clear fluid that fills the intermas (vitreous humor) is reduced and causes the retina to become thinner and more easily torn when the veins are strained. But these are all very unlikely, as the experts said above.
Therefore, if you have previously experienced eye problems and want to plan a pregnancy, usually your doctor will advise you to postpone pregnancy until it is known that pregnancy is safe for you and your eyes.
If during pregnancy the eye function decreases, such as decreased visual acuity, usually the doctor will recommend you get new glasses and go back to the old glasses a few days / weeks after giving birth.
Related article: Avoid Damage to Children’s Eyes Early, Follow these 6 Eye Health Tips
Can’t Cesarean for Myopia Reasons
Currently, experts are trying to reduce the number of cesarean sections performed due to eye conditions, especially myopia. Oleg Petrovi, a Russian professor of gynecology, said in 2003 that he would try to change policy by deciding not to accept the myopia excuse for a cesarean unless it was accompanied by other serious problems.
And to ensure that his decision will not have a negative impact on the condition of the mother’s eyes or the delivery process, Oleg conducted a study in 2003-2007 involving 240 women. Sure enough, this study shows, policy changes (in this case normal delivery) do not increase the number of eye complications in the mother.
Furthermore, in 2015, the Trnava University Hospital in Slovakia also stopped performing caesarean sections for ophthalmological reasons.
Referring to the research and explanation above, it can be concluded that a person can still give birth normally even though he suffers from minus eyes. The normal experience of giving birth with minus eyes is still safe for the eyes and will not affect your minus eye condition.
Alodokter recommends that you have regular eye examinations every 3 months during pregnancy so that your ophthalmologist can assess and monitor the condition of the structure of your eyeball. together with your obstetrician, the ophthalmologist will discuss what to do with you if you develop serious eye problems during pregnancy.