Caring for your contact lenses when you’re home is a pretty straightforward process. You put them on in the morning within the safety of your bathroom, and you repeat the process when you take them out at night. During the day, in case you get bothered by any minor displacement, it’s pretty easy to fix the problem as long as you have a bottle of contact lens solution in your purse or your desk.
But when you travel, the rush to the airport and the long-haul flight may disturb your ritual. Not to mention the fact that you leave your familiar hygienic environment behind. Circumstances change, so you need to know what to pack so that nothing gets in the way of your vacation.
From packing to cleaning, here are the five safety measures we advise you to consider:
As you know and certainly experienced yourself, the atmosphere in the airplane cabin is extremely dry. While in most buildings with air conditioning, the level of humidity ranges from 40% to 70%, the average humidity in an aircraft can get as low as 20%. That translates into dry skin and dry eyes, no matter how much water you drink to replenish yourself.
When you wear normal or coloured contact lenses, the dry air could affect you critically if forced to be on plain for an extended period of time. As a result, your eyes start feeling uncomfortable, and your sight gets blurry. That is why it’s a good idea to replace your disposables with eyeglasses for the long-hauls or to carry a kit with lenses and solution in your backpack.
Have a Backup Supply at All Times
Make sure you have a backup kit not only during your flight but also for when you reach your destination. It’s not unusual for luggages to get mixed in the airports, and it might take several hours or days before they arrive at your hotel. That’s why it’s best to keep some contact lenses in your purse in case you’re separated from your full supply.
Use Daily Disposables while Being Away
Maybe you prefer a two week or 30 days disposable contact lenses when you’re at home. But, it is more convenient to pack dailies when you are traveling. Since in most airports you’re limited to no more than 100ml bottles of liquid for the carry-on baggage, carrying daily contact lenses means you don’t need to worry about storing lens solution in your luggage. Plus, leaving your reusable lenses kit behind gives you more room for other products you want to have with you, like your favorite fragrance or dry-shampoo.
Extra tip: in case you are not comfortable with using dailies and need to carry a solution bottle on the plane, then you should know that contact solution falls under the Transport Security Administration’s definition of medical liquids. In other words, you can bring 3 oz. with you (the average limit for most liquids) without having to use the plastic baggie. You just need to declare it at the checkpoint.
Bring Your Glasses
A pair of eyeglasses can be your best in-flight companion, as we’ve already mentioned. But sometimes your country of destination may also present very different climate conditions than your place of origin. If the air is very dry or there are unfamiliar allergens in the atmosphere, your eyes can get irritated, and they may not bear your usual contact lenses. In case this occurs, it’s best to turn to your eyeglasses as a backup.
Maintain the Standard Level of Hygiene
As a contact lenses owner, you are bound to respect certain rules for your eye’s health safety. These rules cannot be bent just because you’re traveling and you think you’re temporarily excused.
Keep hand sanitizers and wet tissues close by so that you can clean your hands when you need to insert or adjust your contact lenses. That way, you can maintain a sterile environment and reduce the risk of infection. A travel size compact mirror could also be helpful under the circumstances.
Just because you wear contact lenses, it doesn’t automatically means that traveling with them has to be stressful. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll enjoy your vacation without endangering your eye’s health or missing any sight.