Travelling with contact lenses

Bowen Eye Clinic has joined up with New Zealands leading Optometrists to give you the best way to take care of your contact lenses when travelling.

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9 Tips for Travelling with Contact Lenses

Whether you are away for the weekend, week or month don't let your contact lenses get in the way. With a bit of planning, travelling can be hassle free with contact lenses. 

1.     Go Disposable      Consider disposable  contact lenses. You can put in a fresh pair each day and throw them out at night. This means less solution, fewer containers, less hassle and more space for other things, but they do cost a little extra. You will need to pack enough contact lenses for the whole trip and add a few extras just in case.

2.    On the Plane       Wearing contact lenses on long flights is not recommended. Never sleep in your contact lenses. Pack your contact lenses and solution in plastic bags to avoid leaks. Travel size packs (100ml) of solution will be available from your Optometrist. Wear your back up glasses on the plane.

3.     Have a Back Up      Always have your back up pair of glasses with your carry on luggage, just in case that airline misplaces your checked in luggage. Sydney Australia or Sydney Canada anyone? Keep your glasses in a strong case to handle the knocks and bumps of travel.

4.     Lubricate Your Eyes     Artificial tears are also useful to carry on the plane. The plane humidity is very low and your eyes can feel dry. You can wear contact lenses on a short < 2 hour plane flight but be prepared with your artificial tears to moisten your eyes.

5.     Swimming     Swimming in contact lenses is not recommended. Again daily disposable contact lenses are your best option, wear them with goggles, and they should be discarded after swimming, Never swim with reusable contact lenses.

6.      No Red Eyes      Never wear your contact lenses when your eyes are red and irritated. This is when your back up glasses are indispensable. Don’t trust the water, use an alcohol based sanitiser to wash your hands before and after inserting or removing your contact lenses.

7.      Get a Check Up      If you get a red and painful eye stop using your contact lenses and track down an optometrist or eye doctor in the local country you are visiting to have your eyes examined. Sometimes the red eye can be due to an infection.

8.      Keep a Copy       Keep a written prescription of the strength of your glasses and contact lenses with your passport. Also email a copy to yourself, just in case. It can make getting replacement contact lenses or glasses overseas much easier, especially in countries where English is not spoken.

9.      Phone Home        Keep an email and phone number of you Optometrist back home just in case you need to make contact.