The summer heat is gone and the temperature is finally dropping here in the valley. If you want to prevent or address dry eyes as we welcome fall, eye drops are not the only solution.  Here’s a list of deterrents and remedies that multiple eyecare specialists and dry eye sufferers recommend.


Get An Eye Exam:

Because ocular allergies that flare doing fall can coexist with chronic dry eye, you may want to consider consulting an optometrist for a diagnosis.  Fall ocular allergies are triggered by mold, dander, pet hair and trees; however, they cause the itchiness and drying that is also associated with dry eye disease.  Chronic dry eye is typically seen in women over 40, menopausal women and older adults of both genders.  In addition to distinguishing between dry eye disease and ocular allergies, an optometrist can advise you on selecting artificial tears; if you opt to use them, you may need assistance with finding a compatible formula. Consider a yearly exam for proactive eyecare.

Use a Humidifier:

Cold air humidifiers address indoor irritants and restore moisture to environments that have forced air heat. They are also child safe.

Assess Eye Makeup:

Ophthalmologist-tested, hypoallergenic makeup and eye cream instead of eye powder are recommended.

Wear Sunglasses and Brimmed Hats:

They are an excellent way to protect your eyes from the drying cold wind and the dust and airborne pollen that it circulates.

Drink Water:

Drink eight glasses of water daily to keep the entire body hydrated.

Close Windows at Night:

Pollen releases spike between 4pm and 7pm.

Clean Your Home’s Vents:

Be sure to cleanse vents of indoor irritants before turning on heating.

Consume Eye Nutrients:

Eat foods that contain Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as Zinc, Potassium, antioxidants and fatty-acids.  Foods that are rich in these nutrients include kale, spinach, broccoli, bananas, avocados, gogi berries, blueberries, salmon, and sardines.  Other super foods that support optimal eye health can be found on the ORAC chart, an index of the most potent antioxidant foods.

Take Eyecare Supplements:

Krill oil, fish oil, and flax seed are omega-rich and potent combatants of free-radicals.  Free radicals cause oxidative stress and age the eye.

Assess Contact Lenses:

Be sure to regularly lubricate contacts to prevent them from clinging to your eyes.

Assess Medications:

Decongestants, sleeping aids, anti-depressants and antihistamines can worsen dry eyes.

If you are interested in the common causes of dry eye disease versus the causes of ocular allergies take a look at this clinical insight into seasonal changes and dry eyes.