Your Eyes and Autumn

Posted October 5, 2019


Autumn weather is finally here and the leaves are beginning to color and drop. Our children love trick-or-treating
through the drifting red-orange foliage and burying each other in the heaping piles. It’s a last chance to mow the lawn
and time to enjoy the cooling weather together as a family.

But fall is also the time for an onslaught of terrible allergies and flying bits of leaves and dirt that can damage your,
and your child’s, eyes.

Make Safety a Priority
No one wants to put a damper on autumn leaf fun! But with a little foresight, you can help protect the eyes of your
family this season:
 Wear eye protection when mowing your lawn or using a blower. Even the smallest object can become a
projectile and damage your, or your child’s, eye.
 If your eye is hit, allow the natural flow of tears and remind your child not to rub their eyes. If you need to
examine the eye, wash your hands first and do not try to remove anything from the eye.
 If you can see something in the eye, you may need to visit your eye doctor or local emergency room. Even if
you can’t see anything, seek professional help if more than an hour goes by and there is still blurred vision,
pain, or tearing. The eye may be scratched by a foreign substance that is no longer present.
 If you use contact lenses, make sure to clean them frequently, especially right after yard work or outside
play with your children.

Deal with the Allergies
If you or your child suffers from dry, itchy, or teary eyes during the fall season, then you are most likely reacting to the
dust, pollen, and leaf particles abundant during this time of year. Even though the main allergy season is over by
October, any disturbance of leaves will uncover still allergens and cause discomfort.
There are a few simple measures you can take to ease these symptoms:
 If you know your child has allergies, taking anti-histamine medication before they spend a lot of time outside
can alleviate their discomfort. Try an over-the-counter medication like Claritin®, Allerga®, or Zyrtec®. Eye
drops with anti-histamines and ‘mast cell stabilizers’ can also be a great preventative.
 Stay indoors when anyone is mowing or raking leaves.
 Cold compresses on your child’s eyes will relieve the itching and tearing. Remind your child not to rub their
eyes. This will only cause further irritation.
 It never hurts to see an allergist! Understanding the severity of your allergies will help you know how to treat
them. The needles used are very small and even young children should be able to handle them.

Don’t Forget the Simple Things
Sometimes, the only culprit to your eye discomfort is the gorgeous autumn weather. Dry, cold wind not only takes
your breath away; it also steals your tears. Keep a supply of eye-drops close at hand and resist turning your
thermostat all the way up. A very hot room or car will further dry out your eyes.
Enjoy all those lovely fruits and vegetables that are in-season. Apples, pears, pomegranates, squash,
turnips, and cauliflower are all bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that will boost your natural eye-

If you ever have any concerns that your eyes (or that of your child) might be injured, don’t hesitate to make an
appointment with one of our optometrists! When it comes to your eye health, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Schedule your next appointment at our Christiansburg or Salem locations.

We are happy to answer any and all of
your questions.

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