Read these travel eye care tips to protect your eyes on holiday


Woman sunbathing with sunglasses on

Hints and tips for happy holiday eyes 

With most holidays, half the fun of going away is the getting ready. Topping up our tans, getting those last-minute beauty treatments, and, of course, sorting out our holiday wardrobe to make sure we look chic on a sun lounger. But despite all of this meticulous planning, very few of us think about what we will be putting our eyes through when we're on holiday. And all our efforts to enjoy the break can be undone by sore, itchy and dry eyes.

You can help to prevent eye damage from the sun and take care of your eyes whilst on holiday with these top tips:


Invest in some solid shades

A great pair of shades are an essential holiday accessory. Sure, there’s a cool factor at play, but their most important role is helping to prevent eye damage from the sun’s harmful rays. With suitable sunglasses, you'll protect the whites of your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) light. Look for a pair that will block 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays.

Polarised lenses may be a good option if you’re particularly sensitive to sunlight, as they reduce glare by filtering out reflected sunlight from surfaces, such as windows or the water. Or if you’re unsure what the best option is you can ask your optician for their advice on the best solution.

If sunglasses or lenses aren’t for you then a wide-brimmed hat can also provide some protection, shielding your eyes from the sun.


Protect your skin

It’s not just the eye’s surface that needs protection; the skin around your eyes is also sensitive, and too much sun exposure can leave them feeling sore and strained. So as you’re slathering your arms and legs in sun cream, ready for a day of lounging, pay extra attention to get good coverage around your eyes (without getting any in them of course). It’s worth considering a higher SPF than you might normally use and a specific sunscreen for the face to give yourself that added level of protection.


Guard your eyes against sand

When most of us picture our summer holidays, we imagine ourselves on a white sandy beach, pure and untrodden, with a gentle breeze blowing in our hair. But the reality is usually closer to kids with bucket and spades flinging sand around, and a sudden gust of wind can leave you with an eyeful of grit, causing pain and irritation. It can also be a good idea to keep a bottle of water nearby, to quickly flush out your eye in case some sand does find its way in there.


Take care of your eyes when swimming

When the weather’s warm, who doesn’t love a quick swim to help cool down? Whether it’s a dip in the sea or plunging into the hotel pool, the water can contain contaminants that have an effect on your eyes, potentially causing redness and irritation.

This doesn’t mean you have to stay away from the water, but, if after you come out your eyes begin to feel irritated, flush them out with clean water. This will quickly remove, salt, chlorine, and any other potential irritants.


Contact lens wearers 

The sun and sand you enjoy on holiday can affect your eyes more if you’re a contact lens wearer. It is important to take even more care of your lenses whilst on holiday to avoid eye infections which tend to happen more frequently in hot conditions. Ensuring you thoroughly clean lenses should help reduce the chances but when visiting the beach irritants such as sand can also cause problems as they get trapped under the lenses, making your eyes sore.

If you must wear contact lenses, use water-tight goggles when swimming and use daily lenses so you can replace with a fresh pair straight after your swim. Ideally, your eyes may benefit from having a break themselves from lenses and instead wear prescription glasses and sunglasses. 

Find out more about the do's and don'ts when you are a contact lens wearer


Be wary of air conditioning

When the day is really hotting up, retreating to the air-conditioned oasis of your hotel or a cafe can feel like bliss, but all that cool air blowing around the room can seriously dry out your eyes, causing discomfort. Once the room is cool enough, try asking to get the air con switched off for a while, giving your eyes a break and allowing them to rebalance their moisture.

Protect your eyes in cold climates

Cold weather can also be responsible for the symptoms of dry eye. In which case, you are advised to follow the same measures that you would in warm weather, for example, ski goggles provide effective protection for eyes in the snow.


Be prepared with Optrex ActMist and Eye Wash

Optrex ActiMist eye spray and eyewash products are designed to relieve the eye irritation that can ruin a holiday. Consider making Optrex your travel companion and make the most of your summer break.

Relieve: Carry Optrex ActiMist 2in1 Itchy and Watery Eye Spray in your beach bag to quickly soothe itchy, watery eyes*. When sprayed onto closed eyelids, ActiMist 2in1 works with your blink to replenish your eye’s lipid layer. 

Cleanse: Optrex Multi Action Eye Wash will help to wash away any stray grains of sand or pool pollutants that have gathered in and around your eyes over the day. A quick cleanse will leave your eyes feeling fresher and more settled. If irritation persists you should seek medical advice.


*This is due to disturbed lipid layer of the tear film when you’re on the move.