Why Are Dry Eye Symptoms Worse in the Fall? 

Oct 1, 2023

Fall is a beautiful time of year with the leaves changing colors and stunning views. But as the weather changes, you may notice an increase in dry eye symptoms. From red, itchy eyes to excessive tears, dry eye can be very uncomfortable and affect your daily life. In this blog post, we’ll explore why dry eye symptoms get worse in the fall and what you can do to get relief.  

1. Indoor heating 

As the temperature outside starts to drop, many people turn on the heating indoors to stay warm. While it may feel nice and cozy inside, indoor heating dries out the air, leading to dry eye symptoms. To prevent dry eye, consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air and avoid sitting too close to heaters or vents.  

2. Allergies 

Fall is known for pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking, and hayrides. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when allergies flare up for many people. Allergies can be a common cause of dry eye, but dryness can also be a side effect of your allergy medication.  

Using artificial tears, closing windows when pollen levels are high, and getting an air purifier can help prevent or reduce allergy symptoms (including dry eye). If you think your allergy medication is causing your dry eye, talk to your doctor. They may suggest changing the dosage or trying a different medication.  

3. Windy weather 

Fall is often a windy time of year, which can be brutal on your eyes. Wind can cause tears to evaporate more quickly, leading to dryness and irritation. Wearing protective eyewear or sunglasses and using artificial tears can help prevent these issues.  

4. Screen time 

For many people, fall weather means spending more time indoors, leading to an increase in screen time. As we stare at computer screens or other digital devices, our blink rate decreases, causing our eyes to dry out. Make sure to take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest, and try following the 20-20-20 rule, which involves taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away. 

5. Lower humidity 

During the fall season, humidity levels tend to drop, making the air drier. Lower humidity can cause your eyes to lose moisture faster, resulting in dry eye symptoms. To avoid this, try wearing protective eyewear and using eye drops when you’re outside. 

Dry eye is a common issue that affects many people during the autumn months. By following the tips above, you can find relief and enjoy all the season has to offer. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, contact our team at Southern Eye Centers to book an appointment. Let us help you manage your dry eye symptoms this fall season!