Symptoms such as itchy eyes tend to worsen during the end of your pregnancy. Itchy eyes during your 37th week of pregnancy are sometimes so bothersome that they interrupt daytime activities and sleep. Because they sometimes worsen or lead to an infection if left untreated, it is important to understand why itchy eyes occur during pregnancy and how you can relieve symptoms.
Itchy eyes while you are 37 weeks pregnant vary from minor to extreme. Itching sometimes occurs off and on throughout the day, or lingers chronically through the rest of your pregnancy. Besides the eyes, itching often occurs in your ears, nose and throat. Additional symptoms often include burning, the sensation of grittiness in your eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, mucus discharge, light sensitivity and the production of excess tears. Wearing contact lenses often makes symptoms worse.
Your hormones fluctuate during pregnancy; particularly, the male androgen hormones decline. This hormonal change decreases the amount of tears that your eyes produce, which often results in itching and dryness. In addition, pregnancy tends to exacerbate allergies, making you more susceptible to allergens such as animal dander, dust mites and pollen. An infection of the eye, such as conjunctivitis, or getting a foreign object in the eye, also triggers itchy eyes during pregnancy.
Run a humidifier throughout your house to add moisture to the air and soothe itchy eyes. Gently rub your forefingers over your eyelids to help push mucus and fluid out of the glands of your eyelids, which helps relieve symptoms. Place a warm compress over your eyelids to ease discomfort and itching. Clean your eyes carefully with a wet cotton ball to remove any crusty discharge or foreign objects. If your doctor approves, use artificial teardrops or an over-the-counter ointment designed for itchy eyes.
Go to your optometrist or general doctor if your itchy eyes are severe, continue to worsen as you approach your due date or interfere with your eating or sleeping patterns. A doctor can ensure that you do not have an infection, scarring or foreign objects in your eye. He can also prescribe an allergen medication or antibiotic eyedrops that can be used safely during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
- "Parents"; Allergies & Asthma During Pregnancy; Richard H. Schwarz
- BabyCenter; Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy; February 2011
- BabyCentre; I am 19 Weeks Pregnant and My Eyes Feel Dry. Why is This?; Sally Sago; December 2009
- KidsHealth; Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis); July 2009
- "Parenting"; On Call: Itchy Eyes; Claire McCarthy