The Doctor's Doctor - Dr. Mandel

Healthy Eye Habits for the Fall

The fall season brings cooler weather and new risks for your vision. The drop in temperature can cause dry eyes and allergies to arise. Keep your vision healthy and strong this season with these helpful habits from LASIK eye surgeon Mark R. Mandel, MD of Optima Eye.

Rest your eyes. If you are headed back to school this fall or spending a lot of time in front of a computer, you are at risk for digital eye strain. Symptoms of digital eye strain include dry eyes, redness and itchiness. Remember to rest your eyes by taking frequent breaks. Try the “20-20-20” rule: take a break every 20 minutes and look at objects at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to relieve eye strain. Remember to also blink often; we tend to blink one-third less than normal when using a computer, tablet, smartphone or other digital devices.

Stay active. Don’t let the cold weather keep you from exercising regularly. Staying fit is good for your entire body, including your eyes. Regular exercise can help decrease the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can cause eye-related complications. Research has also shown that exercise can decrease the risk of macular degeneration and other eye diseases and conditions.

Wear sunglasses. It’s recommended you wear sunglasses outdoors year round, no matter the weather outside. Even when it’s cloudy or overcast, the sun’s harmful UV rays can reach your eyes, putting them at risk for sunburn (photokeratitis). Wearing sunglasses can also safeguard against windy conditions and flying debris that can harm your eyes.

Drink water. The arrival of fall also means the arrival of delicious coffee and hot cocoa flavors. However, it’s important to continue drinking plenty of water. Water is necessary for your body to produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Eye-related symptoms of dehydration include redness, dryness and puffy eyelids.

Prepare for allergies. Fall can stir up a range of eye allergens, such as pollen, dust and pet dander. Wash your hands often, and avoid rubbing your eyes. If you can, try to avoid what is causing your eye allergies. Remember to wash your pillow cases often. As an added measure, buy allergen resistant pillows.

Get a comprehensive eye exam. The fall season is the perfect time to get your eyes thoroughly checked by a trusted eye doctor. Many children and college students head back to school, making good vision necessary for success. A lot of schools offer vision screening for students, but keep in mind this is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam. An eye exam with your eye doctor can detect vision problems and treat eye conditions to keep your eyes healthy and strong. To schedule an exam for yourself and your family, contact your optometrist. If you have any questions regarding your eye care, email us at

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