Parweez Hossain, consultant Ophthalmologist at Southampton General Hospital, has noted that the number of patients seeking eye care increases by up to 15% in the summer months. This is mainly because many holiday goers have a lax contact lens cleaning regime, leave their lenses in direct sunlight, and use old solution to store their contact lenses.
We know that travelling is stressful enough even without sore eyes, so we’ve come up with a definitive list to help you avoid any risks of inflammation before and, duringyour trip, and take care of your eyes in the unfortunate case you develop an infection. As the old saying goes: failing to prepare is preparing to fail!
Picture the scene: you’ve been travelling for hours, your eyes are tired, and all you want to do is sleep in your big, comfy hotel bed. Disaster has struck though, and you’ve used up all your contact lens solution! Follow this simple tips before you travel to avoid disaster.
- Before you leave, visit your Optician, and make sure you get your eyes checked and your prescription updated.
- Bring details of your prescription with you. If anything happens (knock on wood), these details are recognised all over the world, and could avoid lots of hassle if you need emergency contact lenses.
- Pack an ample supply of your contact lens solution, to avoid running out of it while you’re awayIt is possible to purchase travel-sized bottles of solution, and even flight packs that comply with airline security regulations. For more travel size products for your holiday, have a look at this website.
- If you’re travelling to any destination that may lack fully equipped hygienic facilities, consider switching to disposable contact lenses for your trip. The advantage of daily disposables is that they don’t require storing and cleaning: all you need is a bin to throw them away after one day’s use.
- Bring a pair of glasses with you. Your optician should advise you how often you should be wearing your glasses – although you may be relaxing on holiday, your eyes won’t rest if you’re constantly wearing contact lenses.
On your trip
Once you’ve arrived, feel free to forget about your troubles at home – but don’t forget about your contact lenses! Follow these simple care tips while you’re travelling, to minimise chances of eye irritation.
- Just like at home, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your contact lenses or eyes, but ensure your hands are dry before you insert your lenses.
- If you’re wearing monthly contacts, remove and clean your lenses in fresh contact lens solution every day. Store your contacts in the specified lens case, and keep them in a cool, dry place.
Do not wear your contact lenses whilst swimming! The chance of infection from fungi, bacteria, or amoeba is much greater in water. This is because a lot of water contains a harmful organism called acanthamoeba, which can lead to an infection when in direct contact with the eye. If you’re struggling to see underwater, look into purchasing some prescription swimming goggles
Experiencing Irritation? Follow these simple steps:
Immediately remove your contact lenses, but do not throw them away! Doctors may want to examine samples of your solution, or the lens itself, to determine what is irritating your eye.
- Seek help from the nearest eye care provider. If that is not possible,try and get advice from the nearest health care proffessional.
- Do not try and reinsert any contact lenses: wear your glasses until you receive advice from an optical expert or health care provider.
These are simple tips, worth remembering to keep your eyes healthy during your holidays. Make sure you keep them in mind, but most of all remember to laugh, dance with locals, soak in the culture and enjoy yourself! After all, what’s the use of going sightseeing if you can’t see the sights?
By Sarah Smith, beauty blogger extraordinaire from London.