Going on holiday or a weekend trip away is always exciting, but when it comes to knowing what to pack it can be a bit of a nightmare. While you may be focussed on what outfits to take, or what medication you’ll need, many contact lens wearers overlook planning how best to travel with their contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, travelling can present particular potential risks to your eye health, but if you follow these five tips, your eyes should feel comfortable and healthy – perfect for all that sightseeing!
1. Bring back ups
When packing your contact lenses it is always wise to take a few pairs of backups in case you lose a lens or it tears. It may also be worth considering switching to disposable daily lenses if you are usually a monthly user as they are so convenient and fuss free – just ensure you have a few backups of these as well.
2. Pack solution
When you’re using contacts it is vital you have the right solution to clean and care for them correctly, so making sure you have an adequate amount for your trip is important. Consider your liquid allowance if flying – usually 100ml for hand luggage. While it may seem tempting to decant solution into a smaller bottle, don’t. This is because the solution is sterile and transferring it will introduce contaminants, making your eyes more susceptible to infection1.
3. During the flight
It is easy to become dehydrated on planes because of the change in pressure inside the cabin.
Making sure you’re drinking plenty of water can help but sometimes eyes still feel dry, tired and irritated. If you usually wear contact lenses, remove them and consider popping on your specs instead as not only will this help with any dryness but means you’re also safe to drift off without
having to remove your lenses. It is also worth bringing some lubricating eye drops, such as ARTELAC® EVERY DAY, with you to make your eyes feel more comfortable during the flight.
4. Keep clean
The last thing you want while you’re enjoying a well earned break is to get an eye infection, so make sure you keep up a good cleaning regime. When handling your lenses always use clean, dry hands and clean them with sterile solution after each use.
5. Making a splash
When you’re swimming in the hotel pool, splashing around in the sea or even taking a shower, make sure you’re not wearing your lenses. Not only can they become dislodged by water but they can often trap water-borne bacteria which can lead to infection such as acanthamoeba which causes painful inflammation. Instead, if you need clear vision when you’re swimming invest in a pair of prescription goggles. When it isn’t possible to get your hands on a pair, the next best thing is to wear goggles which fit well and don’t leak. In this instance it is far better to wear daily disposables and remove and discard them after leaving the water, to reduce the amount of time bacteria can spend on the lens2.
- LensPure: Can you bring contact solution on a plane? A contact lens travel guide. Available online at: https://www.lenspure.com/articles/can-you-bring-contact-solution-plane Accessed on: October 2019
- Association of Optometrists: ‘What lies beneath’ safe swimming advice for contact lens wearers. Available online at: https://www.aop.org.uk/advice-and-support/for-patients/eye-care-blogs/2017/05/18/swimming-in-contact-lenses Accessed on: February 2020