Most people are happy to say goodbye to the mugginess of summer, but the transition into fall comes with its own set of issues. Namely dry eye.
While many of the patients visiting Matossian Eye Associates relish the return of chunky cable-knit sweaters and cozy scarves, they loathe the return of the redness, itchiness and blurry vision of dry-eye syndrome that so often comes with the lower humidity of fall. Allergy eye drops will ease redness from seasonal allergies during the day, while lubricating eye gel before bedtime offers a soothing solution at night.
You can improve eye comfort even more by following a few simple red-eye rules to help you marvel at the fall foliage in comfort.
- Reassess medications. If you suffer from fall allergies, the oral medications you take to treat them may be part of the problem. Over-the-counter drugs such as Claritin, Sudafed and Allegra decrease tear production, contributing to dry eye and the irritation that comes with it. Talk to your doctor to see if nasal allergy sprays might be an effective option for you.
2. Resist the urge to rub. Even gentle rubbing can cause microscopic damage and worse irritation. Instead, soothe the itch with allergy drops or artificial tears, or carefully swipe the outside of the eye with a cool washcloth.
3. Keep wind off your eyes. We all know people who wouldn’t dream of going to sleep without the relaxation of a running fan. However, your eyes can be slightly opened during the night without your being aware of it. That exposure to fan breeze can lead to dry eye. Combat this issue by using a sleep mask to gently keep your eyes closed or turn off the fan entirely and run a humidifier instead.
4. Avoid smoke, whether from cigarettes or autumn bonfires. Smoke has a powerful drying effect and can cause irritation. If you smoke, find a smoking cessation program in your area for help kicking the habit. As for bonfires, protect your eyes from heat and embers with a pair of fashionable glasses.
5. Hydrate from the inside out. Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean your body won’t dry out. Your body needs lots of fluids in the dry fall as it does in the sticky summer. Keep a water bottle full of non-sugary drinks on hand at all times and take a sip every chance you get. You can also ingest fluids through your diet in the form of juicy fruit and veggies, soups and sugar- free gelatin desserts.
BONUS TIP: Make an appointment with Matossian Eye Associates for a thorough eye exam to rule out any other conditions that may be causing eye irritation. With accurate diagnosis, we can recommend treatments that will make for a more comfortable, happy fall.
Matossian Eye Associates performs a number of treatments for dry eye, visual disturbances and refractive errors that cause eye discomfort. Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at your convenience by calling us at (800) 708-8800 or through our website at MatossianEye.com.