Year : 2021  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 107-112

Refractive Changes in Pregnant Nigerian Women

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Imo State University, Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. E C Nwajei
Central Hospital Sapele, Delta State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njo.njo_47_20

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Objective: The aim of the study is to determine the changes in refraction that occur amongst healthy pregnant women in South-Eastern Nigeria. Materials and methods: This was a hospital-based prospective longitudinal study. Forty-six healthy pregnant women and an equal number of healthy nonpregnant women, designated as cases and controls, respectively, were recruited from the antenatal clinic (ANC) of Federal Medical Centre Owerri and followed up from the first trimester of pregnancy to 6 weeks postpartum. All participants underwent ocular examinations and intraocular pressure measurement using Perkins handheld applanation tonometer and refraction (subjective and objective). These examinations were repeated and recorded during the second trimester, third trimester, and 6 weeks postpartum follow-up visits. Data obtained were entered and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science version 21. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A myopic shift in the mean refraction of the pregnant women as the pregnancy advanced was observed. This change in the refractive state was however not statistically significant (P = 0.14) and it did not have any significant effect on their distance visual acuity (P ≥ 0.11) and near visual acuity (P ≥ 0.10). Conclusion: Normal pregnancy is associated with changes in refraction; nonetheless, these change maybe innocuous and gradually resolves following delivery. Clinicians may need to delay spectacle correction for pregnant women who experience visual symptoms from physiological changes in refraction unless it is deemed necessary.

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