Vision problems in pregnancy

Vision problems can be caused by different issues in pregnancy. If you have vision problems always tell your midwife or hospital straight away.

Maternity care is still essential during the coronavirus pandemic and services are still running. If you have any vision problems – even if you don’t have any other symptoms – call your midwife or hospital maternity unit straight away.


Vision problems such as blurring or flashing lights in your eyes could be caused by:

  • a migraine
  • pregnancy induced hypertension (high blood pressure in pregnancy). This is a type of high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks and goes away within 6 weeks of the baby's birth. It’s also known as gestational high blood pressure or gestational hypertension.
  • water retention, which may affect the front of your eyes and change your vision slightly
  • pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a serious pregnancy condition that usually happens after 20 weeks. Other symptoms can include:

  • a sudden increase in swelling in your face, hands or feet
  • a very bad headache or a dull headache that won’t go away
  • severe pain just below your ribs
  • feeling sick or vomiting
  • feeling unwell.

Read more about pre-eclampsia.

If you have any vision problems – even if you don’t have any other symptoms – call your midwife or hospital maternity unit straight away.

Read more


NICE (2011) Hypertension in pregnancy: diagnosis and management. Clinical Guideline 107, London

NHS Choices Pre-eclampsia (Page last reviewed 07/06/2018 Next review due: 07/06/2018)

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    Last reviewed on September 28th, 2018. Next review date September 28th, 2021.

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    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Elizabeth, (not verified) on 2 Apr 2020 - 10:37

      Woke up with my vision dulland a mild headache on right side of my head.

    • By patricia (not verified) on 16 Oct 2019 - 19:38

      I lost balance on my way when my legs couldn't carry me pls what is the cause?

    • By Queen (not verified) on 23 Jun 2019 - 14:54

      Have bad vision problems in both eyes in week 10. Now its Week 15 my left eye is close. Do someone have some answers or information on this. Doctor can't come up with an answer.

    • By Emily (not verified) on 27 May 2019 - 20:04

      I'm 8 weeks, I get mild cramping on both sides now and again, they feel very much like period pain at times. Is this normal?

    • By Yuri (not verified) on 11 Oct 2019 - 00:02

      Cramps are very common during pregnancy, although some women experience them more than others. As long as there isn’t any bleeding involved you shouldn’t worry. Try cradling your belly with a warm blanket, avoid hot baths or heat pads. Softly rub your belly without too much pressure. This may help alleviate the cramping a bit. Some women drink warm milk or warm water (not tea) to soothe the pain. (Warmth seems to help)

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