Autumn’s mists and mellow fruitfulness were immortalised by Keats but as this week’s In Focus reveals the season’s maturing sun takes its toll on wellbeing and can be a tough time for the eyes.

The onset of shorter, darker days would have been familiar to Keats’ contemporaries but today there are a whole host of new visual challenges. Halloween brings on the familiar problems with cosmetic contact lenses, Guy Fawkes Night was until recently a grim night for the emergency services, on the roads the clocks going back bring a host of problems not least the scourge of High Intensity Discharge headlamps.

This week’s In Focus looks at Seasonal Affective Disorder just one of a range of health issues increasingly being linked to vision. The interest in how visual stimuli affect the brain has gathered new impetus and was the theme running through Norville’s Medi-Lens meeting in Gloucester last week.

Delegates were treated to a fascinating selection of talks on topics as diverse as the macula, migraine and mood. Blue light and sleep; colour overlays and visual stress and Digital Eye Syndrome are all areas which have become a rich seam of interest for optics.

The explosion in the use of screens, smartphones and tablets has created new areas of interest for optometrists and ophthalmologists and opened the door to a raft of new optical products. The role of blue light in the quality and duration of sleep is a particular area of interest as the colossal social and financial cost of sleep deprivation becomes apparent.

All of the above are issues which will be affecting your patients and all issues which you, as optical professionals, can offer help with.

What better way of enticing patients in on a dark November afternoon than a cup of coffee and an autumn eye check.