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Fall Eye Care Tips

The change in fall weather in many parts of the United States is predictably unpredictable. One day, we may be wearing jeans, sweaters, and boots enjoying chilly weather and hot apple cider... while other days are scorchers and we find ourselves soaking up the last warm days relaxing by the pool.

Keeping up with the seasons

The season may be changing, but that doesn’t mean our daily routines have to along with it. It’s important to keep a consistent schedule when it comes to maintaining eye health. Our eyes need us to take care of them during all four seasons, even if it might be tempting to just hibernate and take some time off.

Sun protection

Shorter days, cooler weather, and darker skies can trick us into thinking we may not need to bring our sunglasses with us when we go outside. It’s important to remember that even on cooler rainy days, the sun’s potentially harmful UV rays can (and will) still reach our fragile retinas. As long as you’re able to see well while wearing sunglasses when outdoors, you should... during all four seasons.

Allergens

Fall weather brings changes in the allergens in the air. If your eyes become irritated, itchy, or sore, be sure to discuss things with your doctor. There are allergy drops you can use to help alleviate some pain.

Continued exercise

It’s important to have an exercise plan for all fall weather days so those cooler, rainy days don’t derail us. I try to get my morning walks in the outdoors as much as I can. I enjoy being in nature, taking in the fresh air and sunshine. However, on rainy days I know that I have to resort to the treadmill (and a little binge-watching of my latest Netflix series).

As fall rolls around, I know that more and more of my workouts are going to need to be done inside. This means I have to find a way to make them worth it or I’ll get burnt out pretty quickly. Netflix is a lifesaver for me when on the treadmill. Otherwise, the time just crawls by and my workouts become more of a chore than something enjoyable.

Productive exercise

On days where I just cannot bring myself to hop on that treadmill, I try to find something productive to do that gets my heart pumping. These are the days I will clean out all of the closets, vacuum and clean baseboards and ceiling fans. Fall is a great time to rake those leaves and continue to mow and prepare the garden for winter. Exercise doesn’t have to be ‘working out’. Just try to get your heart rate elevated for thirty minutes or more each day.

Dietary changes

When the weather turns cooler, we can often find ourselves eating more comfort food. Comfort food is good for the soul, but not so good for our bodies and eyes. It’s important to have a good balance and enjoy the benefits of both. Remember that when we don’t get our eye-healthy nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin through our diet, we can supplement them by taking vitamins.

Comfort foods

Tired of eating all the same meals week after week? Need a mealtime makeover? New fruits and vegetables change with the season! This is exciting! Next time you’re at the grocery store, stop by the produce section and see what’s new. Be sure to check out a few of my favorite fall recipes here at www.maculardegeneration.net. My personal fall go-to's are Mediterranean sweet potato chili and low sugar pulled BBQ chicken sliders.

Mental health check-ins

Some people experience mood changes in cooler weather. Fewer hours of sunlight and cooler temperatures can make our brains and bodies want to stay in, cuddle up, and get comfortable. We tend to eat less healthy during cooler months and exercise less as well. These things can really take a toll not only on our physical health but on our mental health as well.

It’s important to know yourself well and check in on yourself often. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, be sure to take care of your emotional needs. There are eight types of wellness. Physical and emotional health are two types that can change with the seasons.

Happy fall,
Andrea Junge

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