Pregnancy (2015) and Dry Eye Syndrome

Learn more about dry eyes.

For women, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and post-menopause can cause or contribute to dry eyes.

2015

In this study scientists evaluated the condition of the surface of the eyes in 270 women, 165 of whom were healthy and pregnant. None of the women had any existing eye conditions. They wanted to determine whether and to what degree various factors changed during pregnancy.

They were interested in investigating degree of dry eye as well as changes in intraocular pressure.

The researchers used a number of standard tests including the Schirmer's test which measures whether the tear glands secrete enough tears to keep the eye moist and tear film break up time, which measures how rapidly the thin tear film that protects the surface of the eye deteriorates.

Under normal conditions we blink every few seconds to redistribute the tear film over the surface of the eye as well as the thin layer of oily meibum which protects it. However, if there are not enough tears being produced, then dry eye can result.

The researchers didn't notice anything significant in intraocular pressure changes. However they did notice that both the tear film break up time decreased slightly, and the production of tears decreased significantly.

Researchers: W.A. ibraheem, A.B. Ibraheem, et al
Published: Tear Film Functions and Intraocular Pressure Changes in Pregnancy, Alternative Journal of Reproductive Health, December, 2015.

2016

In this study, which was looking at IVF prenancies, the researchers noticed that in the third trimester the number of women with at least one dry eye significantly increased.

Researchers: J.K. Parihar, J. Kaushik
Published: The effect of assisted reproductive technology on ocular assessments, Clinical & Experimental Optometry, November, 2016.