Loose Women host Jackie Brambles has revealed that having her first baby at 39 ruined her eyesight.
Jackie, who is now 43, has two children, son Stanley, and daughter Florence. Stanley was born when Jackie was 39, whilst Florence arrived just eleven months later, shortly after Jackie's 40th birthday.
Jackie has told the Daily Mail her eyesight had always been problematic, but it was after Stanley's birth that she really noticed a change.
'My eye sight wasn't great anyway - I got glasses for short-sightedness when I was 17 and have been wearing contacts since my 20s. But as soon as I was pregnant with my first child, Stanley, I started to have problems. When I tried to put my contact lenses in, it felt as though my eyes were rejecting them. And the more I tried, the harder it got. My eyes felt dry and gritty all the time. Unless I was going somewhere smart or appearing on television, I just couldn't wear my contacts - they were too much trouble. And to top it all, I was convinced my eyesight was deteriorating, too. I always seemed to be screwing up my eyes to focus properly.'
Ophthalmic surgeon Moin Mohamed from St Thomas' Hospital, London, says that eye problems are not uncommon amongst expectant mums, and suggests the change in progesterone levels could be to blame: 'During pregnancy, your cornea swells up, altering your eyesight prescription. Extra progesterone is needed to soften up collagen and cartilage elsewhere in the body, in the pubic bone, for example, to help the baby's progress down the birth canal. The theory goes that this extra progesterone affects the collagen in the cornea. Certainly, the cornea becomes more curved during pregnancy, which can make women more short-sighted as a result.'
These changes are usually temporary and vision is restored when hormone levels return to normal. In Jackie's case, she was one of an estimated 10 per cent of mums who do not recover.
Mr Mohamed says this can be related to late motherhood, pointing out that 'women are biologically designed to have babies in their twenties'.
'Jackie had an underlying problem with her eyesight, which was why she'd been wearing contact lenses in the first place,' he said, 'This would have been exacerbated by two relatively late pregnancies in quick succession.'
Jackie eventually opted for laser eye surgery to correct her problems. 'I was a bit scared prior to having it done,' she says, 'but I think that's completely normal. Your eyes are, after all, one of the senses people most fear losing.
For more information on the treatment Jackie received visit www.londonvisionclinic.com or call 0800 587 4705 for a free consultation.
Did pregnancy affect your eyesight?