Skip to main content
Airplane soaring through a big blue sky

How to keep your eyes comfortable during a flight

The dry and pressure-controlled environment of an airplane cabin not only takes a toll on your skin, but it can also make your eyes dry out pretty quickly – particularly on long-haul flights. Add to this, sleep deprivation and artificial light and your eyes are in danger of feeling painfully parched before you’ve even arrived at your destination.

The good news is, with a few simple strategies you can minimise the effects of travel on your eyes and step off the plane feeling bright eyed and ready for the sights. Follow these lens care tips to get your holiday off to a flying start...

Carry Rewetting Drops

Your eyes rely on a moisturising tear film to function properly. In low-humidity environments like an aircraft, your natural tears evaporate quickly, leaving the eyes dry and sore. Carry a travel-size rewetting solution to help lubricate and relieve your eyes throughout the flight. 

Avoid Wearing Makeup

Makeup particles can creep into the tear film and cause the glands in the eye to become blocked. These Meibomian glands produce the essential oils required for a stable tear film and blocking them can cause dryness and inflammation in the eye. So, bare your beautiful face and leave the makeup for when you arrive at your travel destination. Instead of working hard to flush out makeup debris, your tears can focus on keeping your eyes hydrated in an already harsh environment.

Swap Your Lenses for Specs

Contact lenses can draw moisture from your eyes, adding to the effects of the cabin conditions. Swapping out your contact lenses for a pair of glasses will keep your eyes moist and help to prevent the air from that pesky nozzle overhead blowing directly into your eyes. 

Take a Break from Screen Time

Blinking spreads that all-important tear film across your eyes, keeping the surface wet, washing away dirt and reducing the risk of infection. Staring at a screen for long periods of time can significantly reduce your blink rate, leading to dry, scratchy eyes. If your in-flight entertainment typically includes a movie marathon and catching up on work emails, you will likely experience discomfort in your eyes when flying. Swap that second blockbuster for a book, listen to music, or perhaps just catch forty winks. Your eyes will thank you for it. 

Rest Your Eyes

It sounds like an obvious solution, but closing your eyes can help relieve tiredness and dry eyes. Although, keep in mind that sleeping in your contacts will dry your eyes out, and more importantly, can damage your cornea. Prevent discomfort and damage by removing your contacts the moment you start to feel sleepy. When your eyelids are heavy, and you’ve removed your contact lenses, slip on an eye mask to block out any unwanted light. A mask also acts as a seal, helping to retain moisture when the eyelids don’t close completely. 

Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration can have many effects on your body. But what you might not know is that as your body dehydrates, so do your eyes, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms such as itchiness or blurred vision. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your flight to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. 

Just because you wear contact lenses, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for discomfort when you travel. Keeping your eyes comfortable and healthy while you're on the go is made easy with Johnson & Johnson’s range of travel-sized eyecare products. 

Blink refreshing eye dropsGentle enough to be used every day, Blink Refreshing Eye Drops give an instant boost to your eyes natural moisture, leaving them feeling fresh and revitalised, all without the hassle of removing your contact lenses. 

Blink Refreshing Eye Mist is an easy-to-use Blink refreshing eye mistspray for those who struggle to apply eye drops. The gentle, fragrance-free formula comes in a convenient, pocket-sized bottle, to give you quick and lasting relief, anytime, anywhere.

J&J vision hub