The fastest way to keep your contact lenses fresh while traveling
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I sleep in myfar more often than I’d like to admit, which leaves me with blurry vision and dry, sticky lenses that don’t budge in the morning. (Don’t tell my eye doctor: I know you should never sleep with your contact lenses on. It puts you at a much higher risk of eye infection.) This is especially a problem when traveling when I don’t. I don’t want to remove my contacts. or in the car. That is, until my colleague told me about this huge time saver to delete contacts safely and easily.
It’s a simple fix, and I’ve even tried it at home to remedy not wanting to get out of bed to remove and clean my contacts. It involves the same amount of work you normally would, but you do it up front. When traveling, this will save you from having to rummage through your luggage and make it easier to get your contacts out. Note that this method is for reusable contacts, not daily disposable lenses. Check it out below.
Take these 4 items before traveling with your contact lenses
If you wear contacts, you already know you need your contact lens case and solution.
You want to wash and dry your hands before you start. If you’re desperate, you can bring a bottle of hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands before squeezing the contacts out of your eyes, especially since you’ll be touching surfaces on the plane or when stopping for a snack or gasoline on the road. Even after the sanitizer has dried, however, you may still have residual alcohol on your fingers, so if you also have the option of washing your hands with soap and water, I recommend doing so. .
And bring an extra pair of glasses to wear on the plane or during your trip. “Airplanes are quite dry in the air and even the most comfortable contact lenses can become dry and itchy, especially on long-haul flights,” Dr Mika Moyclinical professor at Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. Instead, she says, “wear glasses on airplanes for better comfort and so you don’t have to worry about napping with your lenses on.”
You can hand over your contacts when you arrive.
Here’s what to do
Just before you go on a trip, prepare your contact lens case by cleaning it. Then fill each side halfway with contact solution – or the amount you normally use to fill your case. Close the lids tightly to prevent any solution leaks and store the case in a Ziploc bag inside a backpack or purse where you will have easy access. You can fill multiple contact cases so you have a backup in case something goes wrong, and that means you won’t have to pack a huge bottle of contact solution.
Then, when it’s time to remove your contact lenses from your eyes, simply grab your case and place your contacts inside. First you’ll want to make sure your hands are as clean as possible.
This simple solution is smart because it saves time and keeps your eyes fresh.
What we advise against doing with your contact lenses
When it’s time to delete your contacts, be careful. After all, you only have one pair of eyes. Here is what I recommend.
Don’t: Remove your contact lenses during turbulence on the plane. Contact lens solution can spill, your contact lenses can fly off, and you can dig into your pupil.
Do this instead: Wait until the plane is stable to avoid poking your eye. Or better, instead of wearing contacts, wear your glasses during the flight to prevent your contacts from drying out.
Don’t do this either: Remove your contact lenses while driving or if the road is bumpy.
Do this instead: Wait until you stop at a gas station to wash your hands and remove your contacts.
Do not do that : Take only one pair of contact lenses with you. Anything can happen when you remove your contacts, including if a lens rips or falls on the floor (ew).
Do this instead: Always bring an extra pair or two with you as a backup. Or consider bringing one-day disposable lenses instead. “If you wear one-day disposable contact lenses when you travel, you can avoid the need for solutions or cases,” Moy said. “Daily lenses are generally more comfortable and healthier for the eyes because they are only used once and do not need to be disinfected at all.”
Do not do that : Put contacts on when you have red eyes.
Do this instead: Always bring an extra pair of glasses in case you develop an eye infection during your trip.
Do not do that : Sleep in your contacts. Ophthalmologists will tell you that it can cause infection and even lead to permanent vision loss. (I confess that I must follow this advice.)
Do this instead: Place the solution-filled case next to your bed so you can easily remove your contacts without getting up, whether you’re traveling or at home in bed.
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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.