The fall season can take you by surprise in New York. Sure, the temperature drops slightly and the sun takes longer to rise. But you have to dig deeper for the more traditional signs. As far as I know, there aren’t many pumpkin patches or apple fields within a close range. There’s no (major) college football team to root for. And the leaves don’t change color because there aren’t that many trees. But despite the apparent lack of nostalgia, there’s one sure sign of seasonal change in Manhattan. You know it’s fall in Midtown when Bryant Park transforms into a construction zone.

By late October, the construction gives way to Winter Village, which leaves fall at the short end of the stick. But the open-air market is full of energy, and the skating rink is a major attraction. And you can still choose between Gingerbread and Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks so it’s kind of the best of both worlds.

Spending less time outside as the weather cools:

Today, the average human spends a staggering amount of time behind a computer, or a tablet, or a smartphone. In my opinion, our eyes haven’t adapted to this constant demand, which is one of the main reasons for the current (and future) myopia epidemic in the United States, and around the world. As the weather cools off, more time gets spent indoors, but Blue Light never takes a break. Whether you’re working a full schedule, or going back to school, too much blue light can lead to light sensitivity, dry eye, and/or blurry vision.

Now, it’s understandable that most people are too busy to pay attention to their eyes. And many times, sufferers don’t act until a larger problem arises. But just remember, it’s always better to be proactive in our habits, rather than reactive. And a good way to be proactive is to establish an eye healthy indoor environment.

Establishing an eye healthy indoor environment:

To establish an eye healthy indoor environment, remember the basics:

  • Fix the Lighting
  • If your computer screen is the only source of light in the room, your eyes will tend to focus on it. Make sure to keep other lights on.

  • Be Mindful of Posture
  • Try not to hunch over at your desk, and don’t be afraid to overemphasize posture at times. Eye problems are no fun to deal with, but eye AND back problems are even worse.

  • Keep Your Distance
  • Your computer screen is best at a full arms length away from your eyes.

  • Limit Smartphone Use
  • If it’s not work related, don’t reach for your smartphone every time it buzzes. Make it a point to check your phone periodically (once every hour or so). but still keep it optimized for emergency situations.

  • Place More Value on Social Interactions
  • Try to spend more time interacting with work & classmates to keep your eyes off screens. And no, social media DOESN’T count.

  • Hydrate Properly
  • Over the course of the day, it’s best to drink water to keep your eyes hydrated.

  • Develop Good Eating Habits
  • Try to keep some eye healthy snacks on hand. Good eating habits effect every organ in your body.

  • Take a Break
  • And use it to your advantage. Consider closing your eyes for a few minutes, if you can.

Live in Your OcularPrime:

I’ve said this several times, but it bears repeating. Remember to block out excess blue light on your devices using programs like F.lux, NightShift, and/or NightTone. Furthermore, don’t forget about the “Think Blink” and “20-20-20 Rule.”