Autumn Eye Care Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

Contact lenses can be a liberating experience for anyone used to wearing traditional eyeglasses. No more having to constantly adjust the position of the glasses. No more having them fall to the ground when you’re running for the Tube. And no more indentations on your nose from bearing the weight of the glasses. Contact lenses have become the most popular medical assistive device in history for all of those reasons and many more. But as autumn descends, contacts can quickly become a mixed blessing.

Take These Autumn Eye Care Tips to Heart

Contact lenses are convenient and liberating (especially daily disposables). They’re easy to use, very dependable and free the wearer from the drudgery of frames. During autumn, however, allergens can become trapped behind and on the surface of the contact lens and create a host of problems that will make you forget about things like convenience and dependability. Other issues particular to the season can also make your contacts seem more like a curse than a blessing. But it doesn’t have to be so. Here are some tips for dealing with contacts during autumn:

  • Dealing with dry eyes - During the fall the air becomes bone dry and laden with mold spores while the pavement and yard become clogged with the rotting detritus of the season. As a result, it’s not unusual to wake up in the morning and feel like your eyes are on fire. Simply installing one’s contact lenses straight away without first treating your dry eyes is asking for trouble. We suggest using hydrating eye drops before going to sleep and then again some 30 minutes prior to installing your contacts in the morning. Extra moist contact lenses & moists for astigmatism provided by popular brands like Acuvue can also help avoid your eyes getting dry throughout the day.
  • Take a day off every week - Should you find that wearing your contacts day in and day out during the autumn is a bit much for your eyes set aside one day per week to wear your glasses. Wearing your regular eyeglasses one day a week gives your eyes a much-needed rest and prevents any seasonal discomfort associated with your contact lenses from becoming chronic.
  • 20/20/20 - While eyestrain related to staring at the computer screen is a year-round problem for many people, it can become particularly troublesome during the autumn months. One of the primary causes of digital eye strain is that people tend to stare at their computer screen in a way they don’t when they’re walking down the street or having a conversation in the pub. This can put enormous strain on the eyes. Especially during the autumn. Eye care experts recommend that if you work at a computer that you adhere to the 20/20/20 rule. That is, every 20 minutes turn away from the screen and look (without staring) at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Eat healthily and drink plenty of water - There is no doubt that a healthy diet has a positive impact on every aspect of your being, including your eyes. To bolster eye health make sure you eat plenty of fresh fish like salmon and tuna, as well as nuts and legumes, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and plenty of carrots, eggs and sweet potatoes. Finally, most people tend to ease off on water consumption as the weather gets cooler but this is a big mistake. Cold air is typically much drier than warm summer air. Because of this, you need to consume just as much, if not more, water during the fall and winter in order to provide your eyes with the moisture they need to fend off dryness and irritability.
  • Keep your contact lenses clean - The best way to ensure your contacts are not playing unwitting host to allergens is to clean them on a regular basis. Try using preservative-free artificial tears as they can work wonders without contributing to the irritation level of your eyes. If you normally wear silicone hydrogel lenses disposable contact lenses consider replacing your lenses more frequently than you normally do. It will cost a bit more but your eyes will thank you for it. Some may also want to consider using peroxide-based cleaning solutions for their contacts as these do an outstanding job of clearing away all traces of allergens from the lenses.
  • Resist the urge to rub your eyes - If you’ve done your best but your eyes have still become red and swollen it is important to resist the urge to rub them. It might feel good for a minute or two but all you actually wind up doing is spreading the mold spores, pollen, soot and other materials into the far corners of the eye where they will compound the irritation. Instead of rubbing your eyes apply a cool, damp compress to them. Don’t push the compress into the eyes too aggressively. Instead, just hold it gently against the surface of the closed eye for a few moments. When the cloth warms up, rinse it out, soak it with cold water again, wring it out and re-apply. Do this several times a day to relieve the itching and burning sensation.

Visit Your Eyecare Professional

If you wear contact lenses there is no need to suffer needlessly from the environmental pitfalls of autumn. Take the above tips to heart and don’t forget to pay a visit to your eye care professional. They can suggest the best moisturizing eye drops for you and provide additional tips on surviving fall with your contact lenses.