Keeping Your Eyes Healthy on Holiday
Let’s be honest, preparing for your travels can be overwhelming. It’s never as simple as throwing a few items in a bag and heading to the airport with your passport in hand. You have to think about luggage restrictions, adapters, currency, immunisations… and so the list goes on.
And for contact lens wearers, there’s even more to consider. Foreign climates and jet lag can wreak havoc with your eyes, yet with a little preparation and a few nifty eye care essentials you can keep your peepers healthy and happy while on holiday.
Packing essentials for contact lens wearers
Whether you’re travelling by road, rail or air, there are a few fundamentals that you’ll want to pack to keep your vision healthy while travelling.
Contact lenses. Be sure to pack enough pairs to cover your trip, and for safe measure, pack a few spare sets in your carry-on bag in case you are separated from your supply. Even if you’ve left it until the last minute to stock up on lenses, there’s still time. Order by 11pm on a weekday and we’ll deliver a fresh batch of lenses to your door the next day.
Storage and solution. If you wear monthly lenses, you'll need to also pack solution and lens cases. If you’re travelling with more than 100ml, stow your solution in a checked bag or opt for travel-size containers. Put your solution in a zip-lock bag, to avoid spillages.
Travel-size eye drops. Leaving on a jet plane? The dry air and low pressure in an airplane cabin can leave your eyes feeling parched pretty quickly. Carry a travel-size bottle of rewetting solution to help lubricate and relieve your eyes throughout the flight.
A copy of your prescription. These numbers are recognised globally and will be useful in case you damage or lose your lenses on the road.
Don’t forget your glasses. Contact lenses can draw moisture from your eyes causing them to dry out and become uncomfortable. A simple tip like swapping out your contacts for glasses on the plane can help to relieve dry eyes in an instant.
Protect your eyes from the sun
You likely wear sun cream to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but your eyes need protection from the sun, too.
Exposure to UV rays can lead to diseases such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Indirect light can also cause acute damage to the eyes. When sunlight reflects off water, snow or sand, it intensifies and the surface of the eye becomes inflamed, which causes pain and blurred vision. Besides protecting your peepers from harmful UV rays, sunglasses can guard your eyes against the drying effects of the wind and sand.
Eye Care Hygiene
It’s important to remember the basic hygiene rules when away from home and your regular routine:
Remove your lenses before swimming. While contact lenses are perfect for an active lifestyle, wearing your lenses while swimming should be avoided whenever possible. Why? Water can carry all sorts of pathogens and parasites – the most dangerous being acanthamoeba, which attaches to your contact and works its way into the cornea. In very severe cases acanthamoeba can cause loss of vision.
Never decant solutions. Transferring a sterile solution from one container to another increases the risk of contamination. Keep it clean by opting for travel-size solutions or consider switching to daily disposables.
Cleaning your hands. Always wash your hands before handling lenses to minimise the risk of nasty bacteria entering your eye and causing infection. If clean water and soap are not readily available, carry hand sanitizer or wet wipes, but be sure to choose natural-based products without harsh chemicals such as Triclosan.
Stick to your usual lens care routine. It’s important to stay on track with replacing and cleaning your contacts, even if you’re in a new time zone.
Consider switching to daily disposables
Daily disposables are considered a convenient and healthy choice when travelling, especially if you’re visiting a less developed country, where hygiene and a good lens care routine might be challenging. With daily disposables, you can simply remove and discard the lens at the end of a full day’s wear, without the fuss of cleaning or carrying solution.
Along with the health benefits of wearing a fresh lens every day, daily disposables offer complete comfort for the eye. While original dailies may have been dry or unsuitable for long days, modern day lenses, such as 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST and 1-DAY ACUVUE® TruEye, are designed to be as porous as possible to allow more oxygen to reach the eye. ACUVUE’s unique LACREON® Technology locks in a moisture-rich ingredient that keeps your contacts comfortable and hydrated even in the most challenging environments.
ACUVUE® MOIST and ACUVUE® TruEye contact lenses also offer the highest UV protection of any daily disposable contact lens, blocking out more than 98% UVB and 85% UVA rays – a great solution for outdoor activities or sunshine escapes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that UV-absorbing contacts alone do not provide adequate protection and should be supported with a pair of sunglasses.
ACUVUE offers a range of daily disposables, each with different qualities. That’s why it’s always best to speak to your optician to find a pair that fits your lifestyle and visual requirements.