How to Prevent Dry Eyes During the Fall
Many people suffer from dry eyes that get worse during the autumn months. Here’s how to prevent irritated or itchy eyes from putting a damper on your fall fun.
After a long, hot summer, we welcome the cooler days of fall and the opportunity to spend time outdoors in a more comfortable environment. Unfortunately, for people with dry eyes, fall-friendly activities such as camping, yard work, and sitting around the fire pit can also spell trouble in the form of red, irritated and/or gritty eyes. You don’t have to hide inside – let’s discuss some ways to keep dry eyes from ruining your favorite season.
Why are dry eyes a problem in the fall?
Many people notice that their dry eye symptoms can take a turn for the worse when the temperatures start to drop. It is partly due to allergens such as fallen tree leaves and pollen that can irritate sensitive eyes. Activities such as raking or blowing leaves and pulling up old flower beds can expose you to even more irritants. They can also send small pieces of plant material into your eyes, leading to not just itching and irritation but also, in some cases, painful infection. Finally, the air itself tends to be drier in the fall, both indoors and outdoors. Because insufficient tears cause dry eyes, unusually dry air inside or outside your home can exacerbate the problem.
What can you do about it?
The beginning of fall is a good time to evaluate your lifestyle and ask yourself where you can make improvements. You can help reduce dry eye symptoms by eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding smoking – things that promote good overall health and help all your body systems function optimally. When you’re outside doing yard work or enjoying a campfire, wearing eye protection can keep irritants and allergens from ruining your day.
If you are already receiving care for your dry eye symptoms from an eye care provider, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your treatments during the fall months. Some possible treatments to discuss with your eye doctor include:
- TearCare is a customizable and wearable technology that works by targeting the underlying cause of your dry eyes. This involves the application of heat to remedy dry eyes. Irregular oil production occurs due to clogged glands, which can lead to dry eyes. TearCare helps restore normal tear flow and clear any obstructions that might be interfering.
- Some patients suffer from excessive blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid). BlephEx is a treatment that involves a safe and thorough cleaning and exfoliating of your eyelids and eyelashes using a special micro-sponge that spins gently as your eye care provider uses it to remove any dirt or buildup that might be causing your inflammation.
- This involves the application of heat to remedy dry eyes. Irregular oil production occurs due to clogged glands, which can lead to dry eyes. Lipiflowcounteracts the lack of oil production through a thermal remedy to remove those blockages.
- This easy-to-use device will quickly remedy any discomfort because of dry eyes. It encourages the natural production of oil that is crucial to keeping your eyes lubricated. It offers you a simple method for treating dry eyes from the comfort of your own home.
- Preservative Free artificial Tears. You can also remedy dryness through artificial tears, which are eye drops that help you maintain moisture. Aside from lubricating your eyes, artificial tears also have healing properties. They will help prevent your tears from evaporating, which will go a long way in keeping your eyes lubricated.
- Punctal plugs. Punctal plugs, also known as lacrimal plugs or occluders, are tiny devices inserted into your tear ducts to reduce drainage and encourage more surface moisture on your eyes. These plugs come in different varieties that last anywhere from a few days to semi-permanent.
- Scleral lenses. Scleral contact lenses are specially designed to vault over the cornea and make contact with the sclera (the whites of your eyes). The space between the lens and your cornea is filled with saline solution, helping to keep your eyes lubricated and comfortable.
For severely dry eyes, you can also make use of an anti-inflammatory drug known as Eysuvis. It will help reduce any dry eye flares caused by allergies, shingles, acne and other health conditions. Eysuvis effectively treats acute swelling or pain that occurs as a result of dry eye flares.
If you’re dreading fall because you know your dry eyes are going to flare up, get in touch with us. We’ll book a consultation for you and help you find the right treatment to keep your eyes comfortable season after season.