• Five Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy This Fall

    Reviewed By James M Huffman, MD
    Sep. 02, 2021

    Many people enjoy the variety of indoor and outdoor activities of autumn. From hiking in the crisp, cool air to relaxing by a warm fire, there are many ways to celebrate the season. To make sure your eyes stay healthy this fall—and throughout the rest of the year—follow these five tips to protect those peepers.

    Banish Dry Eyes that Fall Air Brings

     Woman rubs her eyes and seems to be in discomfort

    Outdoor fires, heated rooms and autumn breezes can lead to burning, stinging and watery eyes. Dry and/or cold air is often the culprit, causing dry eyes. Use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist. Try to avoid overly-warm rooms, wind or hair dryers—things that dry out your eyes even more. Humidifiers can help in dry rooms.

    Avoid Frightful Problems from Costume Contact Lenses

     Three different colored contact lenses on a wet surface

    Costume contact lenses can really enhance a Halloween look. However, you’ll want to avoid the scary consequences of wearing decorative contact lenses if they were not prescribed by an eye doctor who has examined your eyes. Non-prescription contact lenses are illegal, and they may not fit properly or be germ-free. That leads to  painful, sometimes blinding eye infections. Be sure to have an eye exam and get properly fitted for the colored contacts you want.

    Raking Leaves? Protect Those Eyes!

     A leaf falling to the ground in a fall landscape

    When you rake or blow leaves, pieces of plant material can get into your eyes and cause an eye infection called fungal keratitis. Be sure to wear protective glasses or goggles to keep your eyes safe when doing any yard work. Wearing contact lenses while doing yard work? Be sure to disinfect them immediately afterwards.

    Enjoy a Feast for Healthy Eyes

     Colorful, chopped vegetables in a roasting pan

    Reap the harvest of fall’s healthy foods. This season’s fruits and vegetables offer a bounty of eye-friendly nutrients, including antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other important vitamins and minerals. Enjoy these fruits and vegetables at their autumn peak:

    • apples
    • cauliflower
    • pears
    • pomegranates
    • squash
    • turnips

    Play It Safe During Fall Sports

     A smiling boy wears a hockey helmet

    Back to school often means back to sports. Unfortunately, fun and games can be ruined by the trauma of eye injuries. Make sure to wear the proper eye protection on the field, ice or court. Different sports have different levels of risk for eye injury. Make sure to use the right kind of eye protection for the sport you are playing. And remember that regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection. In some cases, they can make an injury worse if they shatter.