Pregnancy and Keratoconus Progression: Here’s What You Need to Know

What do you know about pregnancy and Keratoconus progression? If you have Keratoconus – chances are you know the basics about this progressive eye disease. But did you know that pregnancy can influence your Keratoconus – and in some cases even make it worse?

Your body and hormones change a lot during pregnancy, which severely impacts the way your body functions. Whether it’s your developing child, gestational diabetes, or other conditions, there’s a lot to consider. Still, it’s important that you consider your vision and how your pregnancy is impacting it.

Understanding How Pregnancy Causes Keratoconus Progression

Your pregnancy may amplify your undiagnosed Keratoconus by changing the shape of your cornea. While Optometrists don’t fully understand why this happens, they do believe it’s multifactorial. One of the main culprits is likely hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

A study by the National Center for Biotechnology came to a similar conclusion, determining that pregnancy and Keratoconus progression may be related. The study was the first of its kind and offered an interesting perspective on this subject.

The results revealed that the overall thickness of a pregnant woman’s cornea decreased and their corneas were steeper during pregnancy when compared to the non-pregnant participants.

“We know that hormonal changes during pregnancy can exert physiological influences on many organ systems.” said Dr. Clark Chang, OD, Director of Corneal Specialty Lenses at Philadelphia’s Wills Eye Hospital, adding, “researchers have long suspected potential keratoconus progression during pregnancy in susceptible individuals with inherently weaker corneas.”

Women are also at an increased risk of being diagnosed with Keratoconus following their pregnancy. However, this outcome is more likely in women that have abnormal corneas.

How Can I Protect Myself from Keratoconus Progression During Pregnancy?

Allergies and excessive eye rubbing from dry eyes can cause your Keratoconus to worsen. The best way to protect yourself from Keratoconus progression is through a proactive approach.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Take the time to get yourself diagnosed properly by a Keratoconus specialist like Dr. Barry Leonard. He specializes in Keratoconus and can help diagnose you.
  • Do you already have Keratoconus? Ensure that your contact lenses still fit. Your pregnancy can change the shape of your cornea, which may change the way your corrective contact lenses fit. You should also schedule routine eye exams to track the progression of your Keratoconus.
  • Allergies can impact your vision quality. Avoid rubbing your eyes whenever possible as it can weaken and damage the skin protecting the cornea.

Worried About Your Pregnancy and Keratoconus Progression? Get Diagnosed Today

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that is treatable using specialized contact lenses, surgery, or corneal cross-linking. However, elective procedures aren’t recommended during pregnancy.

Dr. Barry Leonard and Associates offer a variety of treatments, resources, and the support you need to get your Keratoconus under control. If you are pregnant and believe you may have Keratoconus, please schedule an appointment with us today. You can schedule them through our online booking system or by calling us at 818-405-9788.

We can help you improve your vision and quality of life. Let our team of specialists get your Keratoconus diagnosed and treated, so that you can benefit from high-quality vision again.

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