I have been traveling more and more these days. Traveling is the best way to experience our world and connect with the people around us.

The only drawback is that when I have been traveling for the first time ever, my eyes have become very dry, red and sore. I did some research online and found that eye care during travel is a very common real concern.

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San Francisco trolley

Recently, I was lucky enough to speak with Dr. Michael Kaplan, Eye Care Clinic to get some tips on eye care while traveling.

Dr. Michael Kaplan attained his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois School of Optometry in 1989 and has had a private practice from 1989 to present.

Why do our eyes get irritated and dry when flying?

The dry air in airplanes is notorious for causing dry eyes during flights. Re-circulation of air and low humidity cause problems with the tear surface. If we add to this a dirty, dry contact lens or eyestrain due to the need for a reading prescription, we create a situation that results in symptoms such as dry, red, burning, gritty feeling and even watering eyes.

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Sacha exploring San Francisco

How to care for your eyes when traveling?

A lot of the advice for eye care while away is the same as when you are at home:

  • Healthy eating
  • Take breaks from reading every 20 minutes and look out into the distance for about 2 minutes
  • If you develop a problem away seek medical attention – don’t wait till you get back home
  • Take your prescription drops along with you
  • Protect your eyes from UV with a good pair of sunglasses and a hat,
  • Don’t swim with contact lenses
  • Lower the AC in the room and use a humidifier. Some hotels can provide humidifiers

What can you do to keep your eyes healthy when traveling?

  • If you wear contact lenses, always carry a pair of spectacles as a backup. Consider a second pair of spectacles if you have a high prescription – nothing ruins a trip more than when you cannot see properly.
  • If you are a contact lens wearer and you do get an infection while away, wear your spectacles. (wearing contact lenses may make the infection worse)
  • Never use tap water to clean contact lenses

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Powell Street – San Francisco

What options are there for people who need prescription lenses (or assistance with their sight) when traveling?

There have been many advancements in contact lens technologies. One of these advancements is Alcon Dailies Total1 contact lenses, which includes a multifocal lens option for those over 40 in need of near correction. These daily disposable lenses are made of a material that allows a lot of oxygen to pass through it, allowing our eyes to “breath” and has an envelope of water around it to ensure incredible comfort even while flying in the dry environment – perfect for those who like to read or watch a movie on their tablets during those long flights.

You can learn more about advances in eye care at LoseYourReaders.ca.

The big advantage of using a daily disposable lens is that there are no cleaning solutions required. (Remember aviation rules only allow a maximum of 110 ml of fluid on your carry-on luggage). Take enough lenses for each day away plus a few spare pairs in case you lose one. Always wash your hands well and dry them before touching your lenses to reduce the chances of eye infections

Any other tips to keep your eyes and sight on track during your travels?

If your eyes get red or your vision changes, your eyes are telling you that something is wrong. Listen to them and seek medical advice. 90% of what we experience is through the eyes so look after them and come back with good memories of the exciting places that you have visited.

Let’s keep thriving and living our very best lives! Keep an eye on my blog, as I continue to travel to unique destinations and reveal all the best travel tips.

Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let’s explore some wonderful places!

Please note this blog post was sponsored by Alcon.

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