Looking after your eyes when you’re travelling

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When it comes to travelling, particularly abroad, there are numerous things we need to consider to ensure we’re able to enjoy ourselves the way we want to. There’s travel insurance, ensuring you have the right documentation, dealing with work, learning phrases in a new language and a whole host of other considerations. But one thing we often overlook is our eyesight – something we often take for granted. Looking after our eyes properly while travelling is crucial to ensuring we have a hassle-free and enjoyable trip, so what can you do to look after your eyes and vision while abroad?

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Eye drops
The air conditioning systems on commercial flights can dry out your eyes. Use eye drops to keep them moist. Drinking ample water is a good idea too.

Proper sunglasses
The bright glare of the sun can seriously damage your eyes. You need to get some sunglasses with proper UV protection to look after your retinas. Overexposure to the sun can cause cataracts later in life, or at best can cause eye strain and headaches while you’re travelling.

Don’t smoke!
Recent research has shown that smoking can have an adverse effect on your eyes, and this can be made worse while travelling. This is particularly true if you’re buying foreign cigarettes, which often don’t have to conform to the strict regulations we have in the UK and the US.

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Keep your hands clean
It’s difficult not to touch your eyes sometimes, and when you’re travelling you can come across germs that you are not normally exposed to. Washing your hands regularly or using an antibacterial hand gel can help keep germs at bay. Getting bacteria in your eyes can quickly cause conjunctivitis, where your eyes become red and sore, and often weep. This can be treated by washing them with warm slightly salty water in the first instance, and then applying antibiotic eye drops, which you can buy in most pharmacies. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to have some with you in case, they don’t take up much space in your bag and it could save you a lot of worry.

Contact Lenses
If you wear contact lenses, make sure you have enough lenses and solution for the trip. It is a good idea to take glasses as a back-up, should you not be able to use your lenses for any reason. It’s also worth taking a copy of your prescription, so that you can refill it while you’re abroad.

Hope this list has helped you plan how to look after your eyes while you’re away. Happy travels!