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Sunday, December 1, 2019

A Guide For Contact Lens Users When Traveling

Many jet setters prefer using contact lenses over glasses because it's more comfortable to wear, more convenient, and it allows users to engage in different activities while traveling.

Why should users carefully prepare and take care of their lenses? First, unclean lenses are put users at risk for infections. Second, users can experience extreme discomfort and hassle during the trip.

Luckily, this article gives you a guide on how you can prepare for the trip as well as care for your contact lenses.

#1: Update Your Prescriptions

Updating your eye prescriptions is equally important as planning the trip itself. It’s best to schedule everything at least three to four weeks before the trip so that it will be more comfortable, especially if there are changes to be made along the way. Taking care of the prescriptions in advance is a great move, especially if the trip takes more than a few months. 

Also, remember that you should have both glasses and lenses on hand, as well as have extra copies of your prescription in case an emergency happens. Wearing contact lenses doesn’t always mean changing your eye color. You can find the best natural looking contact lens, and it will make you look as if you’re not wearing anything.

#2: Bring All The Essential Items For Eye Care

It’s always better to bring extra than to come up short-handed when you need it the most. According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, travelers should make sure to bring the following items while on the road:

  1. Contact lens solution
  2. Prescription eyeglasses
  3. Extra contact lens cases that are leak-proof
  4. Additional pairs of contact lenses
  5. Copies of the prescription (both lenses and glasses)

#3: Be Aware Of The Rules, Especially Regarding Baggage

When visiting other countries, it's best to do a background check on their TSA or Travel Security Administration. In general, the TSA of different countries allows travelers to include their contact lenses in carry-on or checked baggage. On the other hand, they impose a stricter rule when it comes to the contact lens solution. Here are reminders you should take note of before deciding to bring the whole bottle of the solution:

  • You are only allowed to carry 3.4 ounces (or less) of solution.
  • You must gather all the liquids and fit them inside a quart-sized plastic bag (transparent).
  • There is no limit as to how many liquids you can bring in your checked bag.
  • It’s better to find containers and bottles made explicitly for traveling and transfer the solution there.
  • Make sure you have enough solution to last you the whole trip.

#4: Temporarily Use Disposable Lenses If Possible

Disposable contact lenses are more natural and more convenient to use, especially if the place you’re visiting makes it hard for you to religiously clean and maintain them. It’s easier to use disposables, and it also lessens the chances of having eye infections caused by dirt accumulation.

#5: Ensure Proper Usage And Cleaning Of The Lenses

Whatever the circumstances, always wash your hands before handling contact lenses. Use soap and hand sanitizers to be sure, and let your hands dry before doing anything. Cleaning lenses should be an everyday routine, even if you’re out traveling. Also, never wash them in plain water. Users should always have a specialized solution that they can leave the contacts in when not in use.

#6: Remove The Lenses From Time To Time

If not needed, don’t wear contacts for a long time as it might start eye irritation, inflammation, and redness. This rule also applies when you have any activity that involves water, such as swimming, kayaking, or waterfall diving. These bodies of water are home to different bacteria that are invisible to the naked eye, and wearing contact lenses while you engage in water activities dramatically increases the risk of infections, be it fungal or bacterial. However, for those who still choose to wear contact while engaging in water activities, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has a few tips:

  1. Always wear goggles when coming in contact with water.
  2. Use disposable contact lenses and throw them after swimming, etc.
  3. Throw away contact lenses even if they’re not disposable. Use the spare ones you brought.

#7: Protect The Eyes From Sunlight

Protecting the eyes from the sun’s rays is equally important as protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. If the skin uses sunblock or lotions with SPF, then the eyes can also have their way of protection. Ask your doctor for prescription lenses that are made explicitly for UV protection. You may also bring with you specs that have a polarized lens and a hat for added shade from the sun.

#8: Don’t Think Twice About Protecting Your Eyes

Accidents can happen anytime, and if unwanted circumstances make your eyes itchy, having blurred vision, painful, or red, then don’t hesitate about removing the lenses. Let the eyes rest and follow these tips:

  • If the redness doesn’t subside, immediately find a nearby eye doctor and get the eyes checked.
  • Do not throw away the lenses. Put them in their case because the doctor might want to take samples if they suspect a fungal or bacterial infection.
  • Temporarily wear glasses for the duration of the trip or until the eyes heal.

#9: Don’t Be Fooled By Fake Contact Lenses

Unfortunately, many still sell fake contact lenses. You can find them at stalls in the market or different sidewalks. Never give in to these vendors even if they give you a low price compared to the ones you currently have. Always ask your doctor and always use prescription lenses. Fake contacts may cause blindness.

Reference: https://www.allaboutvision.com/contact-lenses/travel-tips/

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