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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 298-301

Ocular changes in pregnant Nigerian women

1 Department of Optometry, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Health Sciences, Delta State University, Nigeria
3 Department of Physiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
J A Ebeigbe
Department of Optometry, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.100624

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Objective: Pregnancy results in a lot of hormonal changes in the body and the eyes are no exception. These ocular changes could be physiologic, pathologic or a modification of a pre-existing condition. The aim of this study was to determine physiologic ocular changes that are associated with pregnancy in healthy Nigerian women. Materials and Methods: A total of 100 women were followed longitudinally through out the course of their pregnancy and 6 weeks postpartum. The women were recruited at 8 weeks of pregnancy at the anti-natal clinic in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. The women were aged between 20 and 35 years. Tests carried out included visual acuity, ophthalmoscopy, retinoscopy, and tonometry. The tests were carried out in each of the three trimesters of pregnancy and 6 weeks postpartum. Results: There was a fall in intraocular pressure across the trimesters and this was very significant (P<0.0001). Postpartum, the intraocular pressure began to rise. The difference between the third trimester and post-partum values was also statistically significant (P< 0.0001). The difference in visual acuity through out the pregnancy was not significant (P= 0.8477). Although, there was a fall in refractive error across the different trimesters, it was not statistically significant (P=0.3). There was also no difference in the third trimester and the 6 weeks postpartum values of both visual acuity and refractive error. Conclusion: Ocular changes associated with pregnancy are transient and most tend to resolve postpartum, with values returning to near pre-pregnant state.

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