Proper eye care is one of the most essential aspects people tend to ignore during, or when planning their travel. The following tips might help you in keeping your eyes healthy when traveling:
1. Pack accordingly
Pack the following:
- Lubricating eye drops: Consider packing allergy-specific eye drops that are specially formulated for allergies.
- Eye wash solution: If you have something in your eye — an eyelash, a fleck of dust — you might be tempted to head to the nearest restroom to wash out your eye with tap water. Stop. That tap water could contain impurities or minerals which may further irritate your eyes or cause an infection. Use a sterile eye wash instead—purchased at your drugstore.
- Sunglasses and a hat – Goggles if you plan to go swimming
- Sleep mask
2. Don’t wear contacts for long-haul trips.
If you’re about to take a long road trip or get on a plane, play it safe by opting for glasses from the start. Make sure to aim air vents away from your eyes, constant temperature fluctuations and lack of humidity could irritate your eyes.
3. Apply a warm compress at the end of each leg of the trip
Once you reach your destination, wet a washcloth with warm water and drape it over your eyes for 5-10 minutes. If your eyes feel like they have something in them, try an eye wash solution to irrigate your eyes.
4. Take steps to manage eye strain.
Eye strain is common, and when you’re a tired traveler, it could get the best of you. The best ways to manage eye strain include limiting screen time and adjusting your lighting, so whether you’re working on your computer or watching in-flight movies, be sure to take frequent breaks. A simple approach is the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes look away from your screen for 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away.
5. Invest in good sunglasses and wear them
Sunglasses help you avoid glare and air borne foreign particles. They also protect from UV rays. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you should buy glasses that are 100% UV-resistant. The term “polarized” means they cut glare, not UV rays. AAO recommends buying sunglasses that are large to provide optimal coverage.
Tips for beating dry eyes when traveling
- Eat a healthy diet of foods that nourish your eyes like Omega 3s and foods rich in Vitamin A. Always make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, as this will ensure you stay hydrated.
- Always make sure you are taking proper care of your contact lenses and putting them in correctly.
- Wear glasses on a windy day to protect your eyes from becoming dry or irritated. You should also make sure your sunglasses are polarized and filter out 100% of harmful UV rays and block harsh glare off of different surfaces.
- Avoid areas where there is lots of smoke from fires or cigarettes, as smoke can irritate and make dry eyes feel sore.
- Make sure you pack lubricating eye drops and medicated eye drops if you require them so that you can treat your eyes immediately when they begin to feel dry. Some users recommend Bausch & Lomb anti-red drops, Lumify.
- Pack oral allergy medication that will combat any allergies to new pollens or allergens.
These tips will help you take good care of your eyes while traveling.