5 top tips for flying with contact lenses
Did you know that the air inside a plane is far drier than the air on the ground? This can cause discomfort for contact lens wearers. Prepare properly for your flight and it’ll be a positive experience for your eyes.
Whether you wear contact lenses or glasses, there are a number of precautions you should take before travelling by plane. These are particularly important for lens wearers.
1. Bring eye drops
There is a lack of humidity in a plane cabin, which is particularly noticeable when flying long haul, making your eyes feel dry and sometimes uncomfortable. Contact lenses draw moisture from your eyes, too.
If you wear lenses, the best thing to do is to remove them and switch to glasses for a long haul flight. But if you do want to keep them in, make sure your eyes stay hydrated. Bring a bottle of eye drops with you in your hand luggage. A few drops here and there can make all the difference, so you can get back to reading a book, watching a film, or working on your laptop comfortably.
Tip: If you’re flying for business, take a look at our tips on how to get work done on a plane.
2. Drink plenty of water
Another way to help keep your eyes from becoming dry and irritated while wearing contact lenses during the flight is to prevent your body’s dehydration. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout your journey, preferably eight ounces of water for every hour you’re flying. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks have the opposite effect and aren’t recommended.
3. Don’t sleep wearing your contact lenses
As most contact lens wearers know, falling asleep with lenses in can make eyes become itchy, sore and irritated. The lack of oxygen to the cornea means the contact lens tightens in your eye, and these effects are increased while travelling by plane.
If you’ve decided you’ll grab 40 winks for a good chunk of the flight, it’s a good idea to remove your lenses first.
4. Bring a travel kit
If you don’t use disposable lenses, bring a travel kit with you. Some include a bottle of lens solution of less than 100 ml which can be brought on board. A compact mirror is always good to have on hand, too. This allows you to follow your normal bedtime or morning routine while in the air.
Remember, hygiene is incredibly important when it comes to inserting and removing contact lenses. Add some antibacterial sanitiser to your travel kit to be on the safe side.
5. Bring an extra pair
Accidents happen. And often when we least expect it. This is reason enough to bring some extra lenses or glasses with you when travelling. Pack them in your carry-on luggage so they’ll be close at hand on the flight.
When travelling abroad, it’s also a good idea to bring a prescription for your lenses. Some countries require them to buy replacements.