Wear Contact Lenses? Here’s How to Care for Your Eyes When You Travel


Eyes are vulnerable to injury and infection, especially if you are using contact lenses while traveling. However, eyes can usually be kept safe with just a few simple precautions.

Before traveling:

Bring an ample supply of your contact lens solution -- even in the US, not all solutions are available everywhere.

Have your eyes checked to make sure they are healthy and update any prescriptions.

Bring an up-to-date pair of glasses with you, in case anything happens to your contact lenses.

Bring a copy of your prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. These numbers are recognized globally and will be useful in case anything happens.

If you will be in an area where basic hygiene will be difficult, consider switching to daily disposable contact lenses, if you haven’t already. These will allow you to throw your lenses away each night without needing to clean or store them.

Bring a spare contact lens case, for carrying on the road.

While traveling:

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your contact lens or eye. If the water is not drinkable, use bottled water to wash your hands.

Remove and clean your lenses each day. Wash your contact lens cases with lens storage solution daily, too.

Hands should be dry before touching your contact lens or eye.

Do not wear contact lenses while swimming. The chance of infection from fungi, bacteria, or amoeba is much greater if you are wearing contact lenses.

Carry your glasses, lens case, spare lenses, and solution with you if possible.

If your eye(s) becomes red, painful, sensitive to light, or develops blurriness:

Remove your contact lens immediately. Put it in its case and do not throw it away. Doctors may want to take cultures from the contact or the case to determine what is irritating the eye.

Wear your glasses until you can see a health care provider.

Seek help from an eye care provider or health care provider. Be aware that you may need to go to a major city to receive care.