Keeping your eyes travel-safe
When we’re packing for a holiday, we get so caught up in the excitement of planning what we’re going to wear on the beach that we don’t always think about what we need for the actual travelling part
Sure, most of us will remember to pack boiled sweets to prevent popping ears while flying and ear plugs to block out the sounds of other, noisier passengers – but what we’re less likely to think about is how travelling affects our eyes. From air con on the plane to lost sleep on long coach journeys, travelling can take its toll on our eyes, with dryness and discomfort a problem that too few of us are addressing before we jet off.
So that we’re our best selves on holiday and feel comfortable while we travel, it’s time we start looking after our eyes. Get the most out of your sightseeing and take care of your eyes whilst travelling from dryness and tiredness with these top tips.
The power of napping (and power napping)
Most of us like to conk out for a bit while we’re travelling to shorten the journey time, but grabbing a bit of shut-eye can also be a great way to relieve your eyes (unless you’re driving, of course…). It doesn’t matter if you don’t fully fall asleep or only have an hour or so to close your eyes, just a bit of rest on flights or long coach journeys can help to protect against dryness.
Are you a contact lens wearer? It's been recommended that you shouldn't sleep in lenses unless your practitioner has given it the okay, so remember to pack a small lenses case containing some solution so you can take them out to have a nap. Even if you’re not planning to sleep, it’s a good idea to swap lenses for your specs on all flights or windy ferry journeys so your eyes don’t dry out.
You should consider packing products designed to provide eye care for long journeys in your hand luggage. For example, if you suffer from dry eyes, you may include Optrex Intensive Eye Drops which are great for providing effective and long-lasting relief.
Designated driver? Here’s what to do
Driving for long periods of time could cause eye strain and dryness, particularly if you’re travelling at night. In the same way we develop screen eyes from squinting too closely at our gadgets, exposure to artificial lighting from street lamps and other cars can reduce blinking, drying out our eyes and irritating them. If you’re the designated driver, make sure you take breaks every two hours for at least 15 minutes, as recommended by road safety charity Brake. It’s also important to remember that even natural sunlight can irritate your eyes, so if you’re driving in sunny weather, wear sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection. Look out for pairs with a UV 400 label when doing your holiday shop.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the car with a few other (insured) drivers, make sure you rotate regularly. While you’re taking time out, if you notice your eyes feeling tired try using one of Optrex’s warming lavender eye masks. These heated eye masks are a convenient way to help soothe and relieve your eyes from concentrating on the road.
Stick to waking hours
It can be tempting to book flights or coach journeys that leave at ungodly hours to save money, but you won’t be doing your eyes any favours. It’s much better to time your trip with waking hours so you’re in sync with your normal body clock. This especially applies to driving holidays, with driving between the hours of 10pm and 6am likely to cause dry eyes, particularly if you didn’t sleep well the night before.
Travelling during the day could reduce your chances of tired, irritated eyes and help you get the most of your holiday. After all, the last thing you want is to feel like a zombie. If you do feel like your eyes are starting to get tired, make sure you’ve got an eye mask to hand to offer them some relief. This can help block out light on the likes of planes and coaches so you can have a rest - do not fall asleep whilst wearing the mask.
Also, you can supplement this when you go to bed with Night Restore Gel Drops and your eyes may feel much better by the morning. Just pop them in before you sleep and they’ll help to restore and repair your eyes while you snooze.
Air conditioning is not your friend
Whether you’re on a plane, driving or on a coach, you’re likely to be exposed to blowing air and humidity from air conditioning, causing your tear film to evaporate quicker than normal and your eyes to become dry. If you’re driving and really need to turn the air con on, make it as low as possible and direct it away from your face. If you’re on a plane, ferry or other mode of transport and don’t have any say over the air con, then there are other ways you can protect your eyes.
Find out more about eye care while you’re away in our happy holiday eyes guide