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You’re probably used to being able to buy disposable contact lenses whenever you need them, but when you’re travelling it’s best not to bank on that. Many countries require you to sit an eye test to get the right prescription before they will dispense the lenses – something that may not be practical if you’re in a hurry. So, be sure to pack an ample supply of contact lenses to last the whole duration of your stay. Keep some in your hand luggage just in case you get separated from your suitcase.
Airport security can be a pain, especially when it comes to carrying liquids onto the plane. You’ll probably be allowed to bring 100ml of contact lens solution with you in your hand luggage, as long as you have it ready to declare to airport security staff, but do check the rules with your airline before travelling. A backup supply can be packed in your suitcase to be put into the hold. If this is too inconvenient, you might consider switching from reusable lenses to daily disposable ones, for the duration of your holiday.
As you’ll know, it’s important to keep everything clean when changing your contacts. That can be a little trickier if you’re on a plane, or in a public place without easy access to running water. To keep your chances of infection to a minimum, carry a bottle of hand sanitiser and some tissues with you at all times when on the go.
If you’re used to flying with contact lenses, you probably associate the experience with dry eyes. That’s because the humidity levels on a plane are much lower than in an everyday environment, sitting at around 20% as compared to 40-70% on the ground. Consider using eye drops throughout the flight.
To minimise dryness and irritation, consider doing without contacts completely for the duration of the flight. If you’re on a long-haul flight, take them out while you’re sleeping at least. If you have a pair of glasses, bring them with you; they’ll be a lifesaver if your baggage goes missing, and can provide some welcome respite if you’re suffering with dry eyes.
By avoiding changing your contacts on the flight, you’ll also reduce your chances of picking up bacteria from the surfaces on the plane.
If you’ve had one too many flights ending in red-eyed discomfort, you’re probably fed up with the problems that can come with wearing contacts. Imagine the freedom of doing without them altogether on your next journey! With laser eye surgery you could dispense with the disposables and forget about the cleaning solution – forever.