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September 23, 2020

Fall is fast approaching, and just like every other season, the change in the environment can create a range of issues that can affect our eyes. Here are some of the most common fall eye problems and what you can do to overcome them.
 

Dry Eyes


Dry eyes are a very common condition, although the symptoms can often be overlooked, meaning that many people who suffer from the condition never actually realize that they are affected or need to seek professional help. Dry eyes are particularly common in fall because, as the weather becomes cooler and drier, it can cause your skin and eyes to become dry too. If you start to use your home heating, this too will dry out the air inside your property, increasing the likelihood that you will develop dry eye.

 

Common symptoms of dry eyes include:
 

  • A dry, scratchy, or itchy feeling in the eyes

  • Redness and irritation

  • Feeling the need to blink more often

  • Blurred vision

  • Eye fatigue

  • Sensitivity to light

 

If you suffer from dry eyes, you will probably be recommended to try artificial tears, which are available in the form of eye drops and can be placed directly into the eye. There are other types of eye drops you could try too, including some only available on prescription. If topical treatments prove ineffective, there are a range of other treatment options available and your eye doctor will discuss these with you in more detail.
 

UV Damage


Many people mistakenly think that UV damage to the eyes can only occur in bright sunlight. However, this is far from the case. In the fall and winter seasons, the sun is actually lower in the sky meaning that it hits our face just above the brow bone. This particular angle can mean that the light causes eye strain and irritation. UV damage can occur all year round too, even on cloudy days. In fact, UV radiation can penetrate up to 80% cloud cover, so it is advisable to wear sunglasses outdoors as often as is feasible. UV damage is accumulative too, so the sooner you start protecting your eyes from the sun, the better. Choose sunglasses that have been proven to be effective at blocking 100% UV and double up your prevention with a wide-brimmed hat or cap on extra sunny days.
 

Driving at Night


Once fall hits, the days quickly become much shorter than they used to be. This means that if you go out early in the morning or early evening, you could find yourself driving in dusky or dark conditions. Many people find driving at night difficult. The glare from headlights and streetlights can compromise your vision and cause sensitivity and strain. It might be much harder to focus, and this puts you at greater risk of accidents.

 

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to make driving in darker conditions easier. If you wear glasses, consider anti-glare coating to minimize the effect of passing headlights and streetlights. If you don’t wear glasses or contact lenses, get your visual acuity checked to ensure you don’t need prescription lenses to see clearly in the dark.
 

Fall/Winter Allergies


Most people associated allergies with the spring and summer, but actually, there are some that are more prevalent in the fall and winter months, including dust mites and animal dander. This is often thought to be because we open our windows less to keep the cold out and the warm in, and this means less natural ventilation, allowing allergens to circulate freely throughout our home.

 

Common symptoms of eye allergies include:
 

  • Itchy, irritated eyes

  • Excessive tearing/watering

  • Redness

  • Swollen eyelids

  • Painful eyes

  • Sensitivity to light

 

The good news is that there are a variety of treatments that can successfully help alleviate the symptoms of eye allergies – although it is still recommended that you try and eliminate the cause as much as possible. Some of the treatment options that your eye doctor may recommend could include:
 

  • Artificial tears to wash allergens out of the eyes

  • Decongestant eyedrops

  • Oral antihistamines

  • Corticosteroids

  • Immunotherapy
     

Common fall eye problems don’t have to interrupt your day to day life. If you have concerns about your eyes or vision, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced and knowledgeable team.

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