As the temperatures get cooler in Houston, it’s time to think about how to address your vision care with the changing seasons!
Though it won’t be cold enough to be a true winter here in Texas, it’s a good time to think about keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Keep reading for some do’s and don’ts of fall eye care you can follow this year!
Do: Stay hydrated throughout the day
With the days cooling down and the air becoming drier, this is a common time of year for your eyes to feel dry and irritated.
How much water you are drinking could have a direct impact on your eyes. If they are dry, itchy, or irritated, you could be suffering from symptoms of dry eye syndrome or seasonal allergies. While drinking more water won’t always eradicate these symptoms, it can help you get ahead and reduce their impacts!
At the very least, you should be drinking eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day. An easy way to think about this is to drink a glass of water every hour of your eight-hour workday.
Not a fan of drinking a lot of water? Your eyes will also get the same benefit if you eat foods with high water content as well! These can include watermelon, peaches, peppers, melons, celery, spinach, strawberries, and more.
If your dry eye symptoms continue to persist, you may want to consider keeping artificial tears on your person throughout the season. If the problem seems to be causing ongoing discomfort or pain, it’s time to consider an appointment with your Houston eye doctor to see if there are other treatment options that could be right for you.
Don’t: Go outside without protecting your eyes
As things cool off in the fall and the days begin to get shorter, it’s easy to forget to wear your sunglasses. However, sunglasses are important for your vision health all year round!
Sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. Overexposure to the sun’s powerful rays can lead to macular degeneration, pterygium, or early-onset cataracts. Protect your eyes year-round with polarized sunglasses to prevent damage to your vision.
Sunglasses can also keep particles and dust out of your eyes. This is a big deal if you do happen to suffer from dry eye syndrome. The last thing you want to do is make your eyes more irritated because of debris outside.
Do: Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses
Wearing contacts is a great way to correct vision and see the world around you. But do you always remember to wash your hands before handling your contacts? If you don’t, it’s time to make this important hygienic move a part of your routine.
Washing your hands is the easiest way to make sure bacteria on your hands can’t get into your eyes. Your eyes are sensitive, so introducing them to bacteria increases the likelihood of infection.
After washing your hands, be sure to dry them off thoroughly – contact lenses tend to stick to wet hands, making them difficult to apply!
Washing your hands regularly during the fall can also help prevent eye-related conditions like pink eye, which spread easily from person to person.
Did you know that smoking is bad for your eye health? If you are already a smoker, there’s no better time to quit than right now. Smokers are more likely to develop early cataracts and are more susceptible to develop dry eye syndrome or macular degeneration.
The good news: the second you quit, your risk for these conditions drops significantly. The longer you abstain from smoking, the lower your risks become.
Even second-hand smoke can lead to dry eye syndrome as well, so you could be contributing to it for someone you love.
If you’re a smoker, quit now while the days are getting cooler, and your eyes will thank you in the years to come!
Do: Try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night
Staying up late watching scary movies? Make sure you still go to bed with plenty of time to get some rest. It may be easier said than done, but you should try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
If you’re getting six hours of sleep or less each night, it’s going to show.
Your eyes will be red, bloodshot, and may even be itchy. Lack of sleep can also cause involuntary twitching, called eye spasms, dry eye, or can cause your vision to blur. A consistent lack of sleep can also increase your risk of eye diseases like glaucoma.
The easy solution? Get enough sleep, and your eyes will thank you. If you find it hard to sleep, talk to your doctor about options to help you get the rest you need.
Don’t: Buy your contact lenses from the Halloween store
The colored lenses that come from your nearby Halloween stores look fun and can seem like the next great addition to this year’s costume. However, costume contact lenses can be dangerous.
There is no guarantee these lenses will be sterile, and they are not made to fit your unique eye shape. In some cases, costume contact lenses can lead to an eye infection.
For any colored contact lenses, it’s important to have them fit for your eyes and prescription. Any contact lenses not approved by the FDA are a risk to your vision. Our optometrists, Dr. Aric Welton, Dr. Stephanie Lozano, and Dr. Elizabeth Bell, will be happy to see you for your contact lens fitting!
Do: Have eye exams at Diagnostic Eye Center in Houston
If you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, you may go to the eye doctor once a year. But even if you don’t have any known refractive errors, it’s important to have eye exams.
Eye exams are often your best line of defense against eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. Your eye doctor can also help to monitor any changes in your vision and provide professional advice regarding common eye care questions.
Schedule an appointment with the experts at Diagnostic Eye Center in Houston, TX! We’ve been providing top of the line eye care since 1998. At Diagnostic Eye Center, we believe the patient comes first. Come see for yourself at your upcoming eye exam!