Traveling with Contact Lenses

The travel season is upon us again! Are you and your contact lenses ready? If you’re traveling overseas, you may be wondering how to best take care of your contact lenses. Although a challenge, you should be able to wear your contacts anywhere, no matter how undeveloped or remote, if you keep in mind a few contact lens tips for travelling abroad:

# 1 Don’t drink the water (or use it on your contacts) - You should never expose your contact lenses to any type of water: tap, distilled, lake, bottled, doesn’t matter. The microbes and viruses living in it, especially the Acanthamoeba organism, can attach to your lenses and cause a serious and difficult to treat infection. Only use non-expired, sterile contact lens solution on your lenses. And always wash your hands with clean, drinkable water before handling your lenses.

# 2 Consider purchasing a travel kit for contact lenses - Sure, you can toss your contact lens case and solution into your travel bags, but having one of these kits can be pretty handy if you find yourself needing to put on your contacts or take them out while you’re on the go. They’re small enough to carry in your purse or coat pocket and a decent one will have everything you need in a pinch—including a mirror. Be sure to shop around because prices can vary.

# 3 Never transfer solution into a smaller container - With all the liquid restrictions for air travel, it may be tempting to transfer your solution to a smaller bottle, but this can affect the sterility of the solution. Buy a new smaller size bottle, or better yet, bring daily disposable lenses like clariti® 1 day. They require no cases or solution, and you don’t have to worry about sterility because you put in a fresh pair each day.

# 4 Travel smart with your contact lens information - If you’re traveling to another country where you don’t speak the native tongue, plan ahead by having your contact lens prescription information handy, along with some translated phrases at the ready. That way, if you need to tell a local optometrist that you’ve lost your contacts, your message will be properly conveyed. Consider bringing along your current eye doctor’s contact info, you'll be ready to share it with any local eye doctor should the need arise.

# 5 Pack your eyeglasses - Even if you’re one of those people who wouldn’t dream of leaving your house wearing glasses (we know you’re out there!), it’s a good idea to take your eyeglasses along if you have them. Being on the road can introduce new allergens to your eyes—from pollen in the air to pet dander in a relative’s home. Having a spare set of glasses can help. If you don’t need them, great. But if you do, you’ll be glad you have them.

Traveling can be stressful enough without any contact lens quandaries popping up. Follow these tips to help reduce any problems and enjoy your trip. (And don’t forget to take lots of pictures!)

Happy travels!

Nothing in this blog post is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.
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