27 Oct 5 Ways to Keep your Eyes Healthy this Autumn
The autumn season brings with it a myriad of activities, from completing yard work, to donning costumes for Halloween, to the beginning of the winter sports season. With so many things to do, it is important to be aware of how your favourite fall pass-times could affect your vision. Today we will cover 5 ways that you can keep your eyes healthy this autumn season, without missing out on any of the fun!
1. Keep Eyes Protected During Yard Work
Autumn means the end to the growing season, and brings with it the need to rake leaves, prepare garden beds for spring, and complete household tasks before the first snowfall. Keep your eyes protected from any stray leaves, plant matter, or other pieces of debris by wearing protective glasses or goggles. If you are wearing contacts while completing your yard work you should ensure that you disinfect them afterwards. If you notice that your eyes are feeling sore or that you are experiencing foreign body sensation—if your eyes feel gritty or sandy—after completing tasks such as yard work, it is important to see your eye doctor to ensure your eyes are free of debris. Your eye doctor will be able to identify and remove any debris caught in your eye, as well as prescribe treatments to prevent infection or other damage to your eyes.
2. Have a Spooky and Safe Halloween
While October may be “spooky season,” there is nothing spookier than an infected eye! Costume contact lenses and Halloween makeup can create issues for your eyes, and while they may enhance your costume they should be used with caution. Even if you already wear contact lenses regularly, costume lenses can be dangerous as they are not properly fitted to your eyes and may not be properly sanitized before use. Improper contact lens use could cause irritated eyes, or even lead to serious infections. Similarly, costume makeup can enter the eyes causing irritation if not applied and removed properly. If you feel that your costume just wouldn’t be the same without spooky lenses, head to your eye doctor to be fitted for contacts! Lastly ensure that you are taking care around your eyes when applying costume makeup to keep your eyes safe and healthy.
3. Prevent Seasonal Dry Eyes
Colder weather also often means drier air both inside and outside the home. This dry air can lead to dry eyes, which may be accompanied by burning, irritated, red, or even watery eyes. If you are experiencing seasonal dry eyes, you may be able to find relief with artificial tears to keep your eyes moist. Wearing sunglasses will help not only with the sun, but will also shield your eyes from cold dry winds. Portable humidifiers can also help if you find a room in your house is particularly dry. If dry eyes persist, see your eye doctor for proper treatment in order to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable throughout the year.
4. Identify and Treat Fall Allergies
Seasonal allergies are very common in the autumn season, causing red, itchy and even swollen eyes. Pollen, mold, dust, and dander can all affect allergy sufferers during the fall season. One of the largest allergens found in the fall season is ragweed, and many people who are affected by spring allergies may also be susceptible to ragweed. Ragweed pollen can travel exceptionally long distances, so even if you do not see it you may be affected by it! Another common allergen, mold, also becomes more present in the autumn season. Damp ground cover created by fallen leaves is a perfect environment for mold growth, and so allergy sufferers should keep their contact with fallen leaves to a minimum. If you are finding that you are experiencing eye discomfort due to your allergies, you should see your eye doctor as they can prescribe treatment options to provide relief.
5. Keep Your Hands Clean!
Finally, the autumn season not only brings with it cold weather, but it’s prime season for the return of the common cold and flu. In order to prevent not only the spread of colds, but also to prevent eye infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), you should ensure that you are washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your eyes. Washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap will help to minimize the risk of catching or transmitting any viruses or infections during this time. If you are unable to access a traditional hand wash station, use your sanitizer to keep your hands infection free while on the go… but be especially careful to avoid touching your eyes, as the alcohol content of hand sanitizer means it can cause serious irritation or damage if it comes in contact with your eyes.
With so much to do this autumn season, make sure that you are not missing out by using these tips to keep your eyes safe and healthy. If you have any additional questions about your vision health or feel you are having difficulties with your vision this autumn, the optometry team at Dr. D’Orio Eyecare is here to help. To book an appointment visit drdorioeyecare.com/book-appointment or call us at 416 656 2020 for our Toronto location, or 416 661 5555 for North York.