How to Keep Your Eyes Safe and Healthy This Autumn

30 September 2020

Author: Alex Martins-Hesp

dry eyes in autumn

The nights are drawing in faster, leaves are turning gold, and we are getting the sweaters out, which can mean only one thing... Autumn is here! And whilst a lot of us are thinking about how cosy we'll be getting in the cold season we often forget what dangers lie ahead for our eyes. Not to worry, we are here to highlight what affects Autumn may have on our eye health and give you tips on how to prevent it before it even occurs.

 

Allergies

With the weather growing colder, it is only natural for us to keep the windows and doors shut until late spring comes around again. The lack of airflow will, however, cause a build-up of dust mites and even animal fur, which can then trigger an allergic reaction, causing itchy, irritated eyes. 

 

To avoid this, crack a window open for half an hour, especially in your bedrooms to allow fresh air to flow into the room and allergens to flow out. If this isn't possible, an alternative could be to purchase some antihistamine tablets to relieve allergen symptoms.

Photo source-Tereza Hošková



Central heating and dry eyes

As the temperature lowers, the central heating comes into use which has a tendency to dry out indoor air and our eyes along with it. Dry eye will begin to kick in which will result in your eyes becoming more irritated, you'll begin to rub them, and it can even cause the skin around your eyes to become sore as well.

 

If you're prone to suffer from Dry Eyes Syndrome, you can make some easy lifestyle changes to avoid the irritating condition. Consuming a diet high in omega-3 encourages more tear production, which keeps your eyes lubricated and prevents dry eyes from occurring. Another healthy habit you can take on is drinking more water which will keep your eyes hydrated as well as your body. You can also purchase over the counter eye drops to apply when you start to feel your eyes become dry.

 

Avoid coloured contact lenses this Halloween

The time for getting our spook on is upon us but don't get too carried away with the gore, especially when it comes to non-prescription costume contact lenses. Though they may add that extra freaky touch to your costume, you also may bring to the table a number of side-effects such as: 

  • eye discharge

  • headaches

  • dry eyes

  • red, sore or gritty eyes

  • sensitivity to the light

  • blurred vision 

  • reduced visual acuity

 

Studies have also suggested that cheap contact lenses prevent the eye to breathe correctly due to the lack of oxygen. It also increases the risk of germs getting trapped and scratching the cornea.

Photo source: Brittany C

 

Less daylight

During the summer days, the sun rises much earlier and sets much later, which means it is out of our direct line of vision for most of the day. But with the arrival of autumn and the shorter days looming, we are more likely to catch the sun setting on our drive home, resulting in the blinding light of the sun hitting our eyes. While you can faff with the sun visor to block the sun, it may be a better idea not to pack away your summer sunglasses just yet.

 

Even in the snowy season, sunglasses with efficient UV protection will help shield your eyes from bright sunlight and reduce your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

 

Autumn foods

Autumn may come with some eye health warnings, but it does also bring some benefits, especially at harvest time. The autumn bounty comes jam-packed with vitamins that bring a great benefit for our eyes. Fruits and vegetables such as squash, apples, turnips, pomegranates, cauliflower and much more are excellent sources of vitamin C and A. Having a healthy level of these autumnal treats will help prevent future development of glaucoma and cataracts.

 

Getting your hands on orange fruit and vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes is also beneficial for your eye health as they contain carotenoids. According to studies, carotenoids is excellent for your vision and keeping good eye health. It can also protect your eyes from damaging blue light and reduce your risk of macular degeneration later in life.

Photo Source- Annie Spratt


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