Traveling is an exciting adventure that opens up new horizons and experiences. For those who rely on contact lenses for clear vision, it’s essential to plan ahead to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Whether you’re embarking on a short weekend getaway or an extended international trip, here are some essential tips to consider when traveling with contact lenses.
Stock Up on Supplies
Take inventory of your contact lens supplies. Ensure you have an adequate supply of contact lenses, daily disposables, or extended-wear lenses to last the duration of your journey. It’s also crucial to carry enough contact lens solution, rewetting drops, and lens cases to maintain good hygiene.
Before you leave for your trip, double-check their expiration dates. Ensure that your lenses are still within their safe usage period for the entire duration of your trip. If your lenses are nearing their expiry date, consider getting a fresh supply before traveling.
Pack a Travel Kit
Create a compact contact lens travel kit that includes the essentials. This kit should include contact lens cases, a small bottle of multipurpose contact lens solution, rewetting drops, and a spare pair of contact lenses or prescription glasses.
If you’re traveling by air, it’s crucial to be aware of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations regarding contact lens supplies. Ensure that the contact lens solution is in a container of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less to comply with carry-on liquid restrictions when flying. Place your travel-sized contact lens solution and other liquid-based items in a clear, quart-sized, resealable plastic bag to expedite security checks. Keep your prescription handy, and it’s a good idea to carry a copy of it in case you need replacements during your trip.
Keep Lenses in Their Original Packaging
When packing your contact lenses, it’s a good idea to keep them in their original packaging or blister packs. This not only helps you easily identify the type and prescription of your lenses but also ensures they stay sterile and protected from external contaminants during your travels.
Clean Hands Are a Must
Maintaining proper hand hygiene is paramount when handling contact lenses. Before touching your lenses, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before inserting or removing lenses. While traveling, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer for situations where access to soap and water is limited.
Stick to Your Eye Care Routine
While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of travel, don’t neglect your eye care routine. Stick to your daily cleaning and disinfecting regimen as prescribed by your eye care professional. Consistency is key to preventing eye infections and discomfort.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific contact lens care products you use, especially if you’re traveling to a place where you might not find the same brand of solution. If necessary, carry a small bottle of your preferred solution or inquire about local equivalents at your destination.
Monitor Your Eye Health
Pay close attention to your eye health throughout your journey. If you experience persistent discomfort, redness, or any unusual symptoms, remove your lenses immediately and seek medical advice. Prompt action can prevent eye problems from worsening and ruining your travel experience.
Air travel and changing climates can lead to dry eyes, which can be exacerbated when wearing contact lenses. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your journey. Consider using lubricating eye drops designed for contact lens wearers to keep your eyes comfortable.
Protect Your Eyes from Elements
If you’ll be traveling to destinations with extreme weather conditions or participating in outdoor activities, protect your eyes from wind, dust, and UV rays. Wear sunglasses with UV protection and consider using wrap-around goggles or sports-specific eyewear when engaging in activities like swimming, skiing, or hiking.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, emergencies can happen. If you experience eye discomfort or suspect an eye infection while traveling, remove your contact lenses immediately and switch to your prescription glasses if you have them. Seek medical assistance if needed and carry a list of local eye care professionals or clinics in your destination.
Avoid Sleeping in Lenses
Although some contact lenses are designed for extended wear, it’s generally advisable not to sleep in your lenses unless specifically prescribed by your eye care professional. While traveling, aim to remove your lenses before bedtime to reduce the risk of eye irritation and infection.
If you’re concerned about maintaining lens cleanliness and hygiene while traveling, consider using daily disposable contact lenses. These lenses are convenient for short trips, as you can simply discard them at the end of the day, eliminating the need for cleaning and disinfecting.
Traveling with contact lenses can be a worry-free experience when you’re well-prepared and prioritize eye health. By adhering to proper hygiene practices, packing essential supplies, and being vigilant about your eye comfort, you can make the most of your travels while enjoying the clarity and convenience that contact lenses provide. Whether you’re exploring new destinations or revisiting familiar ones, your contact lenses can be your reliable companions on your journey. Safe travels and clear vision!