Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or for business, it is natural that you may find it hard to stick to your normal routine. You may skip your daily fitness regimen or overindulge in food or party till late in the night. In all this, you may sometimes fail to follow your usual regimen for wearing and caring for your contact lenses. Unfortunately, slacking off when it comes to your contact lenses could lead to various hassles such as eye discomfort, watering or even an eye infection.
To ensure that you stick to a healthy eye care routine while travelling, here are some easy and effective travel tips that you can follow:
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Pay close attention to your prescription
Make sure that a few weeks before you start packing for your upcoming travel, you get your eyes checked by the ophthalmologist to ensure that your eyeglass prescription and your contact lens prescription are both up to date.
This is especially important if you have a travel plan that will keep you away from your hometown for a long period of time or if you are headed to another country. Always carry a backup pair of glasses with you and a few copies of your prescriptions in an accessible bag, in case of an emergency. The numbers that are mentioned on your eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are recognized around the world, which means that no matter which part of the world you travel to, you can always order new contacts or eyeglasses.
- Pack all your eyecare gear
In addition to packing an extra pair of eyeglasses and contact lens solution, experts recommend taking a few leak-proof contact cases, eye care supplies and spare contacts for your travel. It is quite possible that you may not use all of these supplies, but is always best to be on the safer side.
- Know the travel security rules
Every country has its own Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations which could affect you as a wearer of contact lenses. Although these regulations allow contact lenses in both carry-on and checked-in bags, there are variations as far as your contact lens solution is concerned.
A standard container of contact lens solution for your carry-on bag should not contain more than 100ml of liquid. Also, all of your carry-on liquids should be able to fit into a clear quart-size plastic bag.
However, the amount of liquids in your checked bag is usually not restricted. To avoid any confusion, a smart idea is to pack a small travel size contact solution container in your carry-on luggage and keep a larger container in your checked in bags.
Whichever way you choose to divide it up, always make sure that you have enough contact lens solution to last the entire trip.
- Consider switching to disposable contact lenses
If you are planning to visit a place where hygiene conditions are sub-optimal, it is always best to switch over to daily disposable contact lenses. Since your eyes will be at a higher risk of discomfort, irritation and infections in such areas, daily disposable lenses offer an ideal solution as you can discard them each night without having to worry about their cleaning and storage process.
- Practice good contact lens hygiene
Maintaining an optimal contact lens hygiene is critical when you are travelling. No matter which part of the globe you are travelling, always make sure that before touching your eyes or your contact lenses, you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Also, make sure that your hands are dry before you touch your contact lenses or your eyes. Make it a habit to remove and clean your lenses every day, and wash your lens case with the storage solution.
Remember to wear your contact lenses for only the time frame that is recommended and never sleep with your contact lenses on. Do not use water for contact lens storage as it can lead to serious eye infections and complications.
- Do not wear contact lenses in the water
Whether you are planning to do laps in the hotel swimming pool, or to splash around in the ocean, make sure you remove your contact lenses before entering the water. This is because swimming with your contact lenses on could increase your risk of serious fungal, bacterial and amoeba-borne eye infections.
If you want to keep your contact lenses on while swimming, opt for one of these choices:
- Go for daily disposable contact lenses and discard them once you are not swimming.
- Wear swimming goggles before going into the water.
- Discard your soft contact lenses once you are done swimming, even if they are not daily disposable contact lenses.
- Shield yourself from the sun
Just as you protect your skin from the harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen, similarly you should take adequate precautions to protect your eyes from exposure to dangerous UV rays. One such way is to opt for contact lenses that come with UV protective features. Additionally, you may consider wearing UV blocking contact lenses, polarized sunglasses or a large brimmed hat for those sunny days at the beach.
- Don’t take chances with your sight
When you are travelling, there is a possibility that one or both your eyes may become painful, itchy, red, blurry or sensitive to light. If such is the case, take no chances and remove your contact lenses right away. Once you do that, follow these steps:
- Place your contact lenses in their case instead of discarding them. If your doctor suspects an eye infection, he/she may want to take cultures for further evaluation.
- Wear your prescription glasses until your discomfort settles and your doctor gives you a go ahead to start wearing your contacts again.
- Stick to the instructions of your doctor. Follow his/her advice regarding eye care, use of medications and staying away from contacts till your eyes heal completely.
- Refrain from buying questionable contact lenses
When you travel, you may be tempted to try out contact lenses that are for sale over the counter. Never buy such products without consulting your doctor. Wearing contact lenses that have not been prescribed for your eyes, can cause serious harm to your eyes. Same holds true for cosmetic contact lenses such as coloured contact lenses. Always get your doctor’s go ahead before purchasing such products. For replacement contact lenses outside your country, contact your doctor for advice on the eyewear retailers that are internationally trusted.
So, go ahead and follow these travel tips to make sure that you enjoy crystal clear and hassle view vision.