If you've been considering LASIK and have found out you are pregnant, you should wait until after childbirth and breastfeeding before getting LASIK. While the procedure itself does not require heavy sedation and probably would not affect a developing fetus, we do not perform LASIK for pregnant women because of pregnancy-related vision changes and the medications involved. Please read more below, and if you have any questions at all, call the practice of experienced Mobile, AL, ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Walton, at 251-341-3385.
Why LASIK is Not Recommended during Pregnancy
LASIK is not recommended while you are pregnant and until after you have stopped breastfeeding, if you are breastfeeding. Here are the reasons:
- Pregnancy may affect the stability of your vision prescription. Good candidates for LASIK must have a glasses or contacts prescription that has remained stable for at least the past year. This ensures a good result, because it means your eyes are not changing. A poor result can be caused if the eyes are under-corrected or over-corrected based on an unstable prescription. During pregnancy, it is normal for your eyes and vision to change. You may find you are nearsighted or farsighted in a way you weren't before. Many doctors believe these changes are caused by hormones. Dr. Walton wants to be sure your eyes and vision are stable before providing LASIK.
- Sedative medications and eye drops used during LASIK. Although certain medications are optional for your LASIK procedure, others are not. Most of these drugs have not been tested on pregnant women, and there is no reason to potentially expose the baby to them unnecessarily.
- Aftercare drops and steroids. These meds are provided as you recover from LASIK, helping the eyes to heal and keeping them free of infection. Ingredients in eye drops can enter the bloodstream, and while they are probably safe for a baby, it is best not to expose the developing child to these drugs.
Because of the potential vision changes involved with pregnancy, it is advisable to wait at least 1-2 menstrual cycles after childbirth, and after nursing if you are breastfeeding, before getting LASIK. At this point, everything should have stabilized and your body should be ready to focus on healing after LASIK.
Are You a Good Candidate Otherwise?
Once sufficient time has passed since childbirth and breastfeeding, we can evaluate your candidacy for LASIK. The standard candidacy factors are:
- At least 18 years of age
- In good overall health
- Free from any serious eye diseases or certain ocular conditions
- Sufficient corneal thickness for the procedure
This laser vision procedure is a great way to free yourself from the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. As a mom, you may be excited about the idea of waking up in the morning and jumping straight into your day with your kids, without having to first find your glasses or insert your contacts. It's a great option for people who enjoy time outdoors and staying active with the kids, because no longer will you need to worry about carrying prescription sunglasses or dealing with a dislodged contact.
Call Dr. Walton for Answers to Your Questions
If you have any questions about your vision or eye health, or timing for a LASIK procedure in Mobile, Alabama, please call the practice of Dr. Chris Walton, at 251-341-3385. We proudly care for patients from across the Gulf Coast.