Fall is here, everyone! There are so many things to look forward to this season. Football, gorgeous fall foliage, and the holidays are just a few of the joys Autumn brings! But with the season changing, there are certain ocular health hazards you should be aware of. In this blog, we’ll give you a breakdown of those risks and share some eye safety tips to help you maintain good health all season long!

Fall-Related Eye Injuries

The kids are back in school and several sports seasons are in full swing or about to start up again. There’s something about cheering on your favorite team with your friends and family – or being on a team yourself! You can’t beat a bit of healthy competition. But it’s crucial that you don’t punt protection amidst all the excitement. We understand wearing safety gear may not always seem necessary, but accidents can happen. Research has shown that nearly 30,000 sports-related eye injuries are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year, and around 90% of them can be avoided.

We’d recommend buying a pair of polycarbonate safety goggles to wear to protect your eyes. These lenses prevent foreign objects from penetrating the eye by forming a seal around your eyes. They also block out 99.9% of harmful UV light. Polycarbonate is highly impact-resistant, and 10 times stronger than typical glass or plastic lenses. Wearing a pair could help you avoid serious or permanent damage to your eyes.

Then of course there’s that lovely fall foliage! It sure is a beautiful sight, but you have to be careful when you are cleaning it up. Next time you go to pick up those leaves, you should whip out those safety goggles! Leaf blowers may make the job more efficient, however, they easily can dislodge dirt, debris, and small rocks which can cause eye injuries like scratches or infections.

We’d be remiss not to mention Halloween. This holiday is meant to be filled with fun, treats, and scares! But many costume choices can pose risks to your vision. Data suggests that wearing poorly-fitted contact lenses could lead to an infection, so be wary while searching for costume contact lenses. If you plan on using glitter, craft glitter, metallic paint, or flake makeup, we’d advise against using it near your eyes. If any of these get into your eyes, they could cause corneal abrasions too, which could lead to visual impairment or blindness. Additionally, don’t fall into the temptation to share makeup. Sharing makeup can spread bacteria and potentially lead to eye infections. Instead, you could get low-cost makeup from your local grocery store, drug store, or even the dollar store. Another perk to buying your own: you can use as much as you wish to perfect your look!

Fall Allergies and Illnesses

There are some environmental changes that take place during this season. As the temperatures drop, viruses flourish, and certain allergens come to the surface. Ragweed is the biggest trigger for those Fall allergies. These plants release mass amounts of pollen at night when the air turns cooler, which can cause eye irritation and sinus inflammation.

The cooler air itself can irritate your eyes, as well, which is why you should try your best to stay hydrated and stock up on eye drops! We know because it’s getting colder, you may be beginning to turn your heat on. Keep in mind, your heating system could also dry out your eyes and sinuses. Using a humidifier may help keep you more comfortable!

UV Dangers in the Fall

The sun’s UV rays are a corneal safety hazard all year round. Even though the radiation declines in the fall, the exposure still is harsh on your eyes. UV light wears away at the structures, ultimately leading to decreased vision. It could cause chronic issues like corneal damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration. This is why you should wear sunglasses when you’re outside or driving. Even on those dreary days!

Holiday Eating

What do Halloween and Thanksgiving have in common? Yummy food! Between the parties and festivities, there are tons of treats to enjoy. You should kick back, relax, and enjoy yourself, but try not to overindulge. Some of the dishes and sweets are high in fats, salt, and sugars which can lead to high blood pressure and sugar levels and can cause vision problems. Those who are diabetic are at an increased risk of various eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy. So we recommend everyone should try their best to watch their portion sizes and eat these types of foods in moderation.

Stay safe this Autumn! We hope you all have a healthy, happy season!

Have Any Questions or Concerns About Your Eye Health? Contact Vistar Eye Center!

Our team here at Vistar would love to speak with you. You can contact us anytime! Or peruse our other blog posts to get more tips!