The fastest way to keep your contact lenses fresh while traveling


This story is part Try thatCNET’s collection of simple tips to improve your life, fast.

I sleep in my contact lenses far more often than I’d like to admit, which leaves me with blurry vision and dry, sticky lenses that don’t budge in the morning. This is especially a problem when traveling when I don’t feel like removing my contacts on a plane or in the car. That is, until my colleague told me about this huge time saver to delete contacts safely and easily.

It’s a simple fix, and I’ve even tried it at home to remedy not wanting to get out of bed to clean my contacts. It involves the same amount of work you normally would, but you do it up front. When traveling, this will save you from having to rummage through your luggage and make it easier to get your contacts out. Note that this method is for reusable contacts, not daily disposable lenses. Check it out below.

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Take these 4 items before traveling with your contact lenses

If you wear contacts, you already know you need your contact lens case and solution. You can take a bottle of hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands before squeezing the contacts out of your eyes, especially since you’ll be touching surfaces on the plane or when stopping for a snack or food. gasoline on the road. Be aware that even after the sanitizer has dried, you may still have residual alcohol on your fingers, so if you also have the option of washing your hands with soap and water, we recommend that you do so.

And bring an extra pair of glasses to wear. Especially on long journeys, the recirculated air in airplanes is extremely dry, which can dry out your contacts. You can hand over your contacts when you have arrived and in a place to exchange them.

contact cases, hand sanitizer and contact solution

Take contact cases, hand sanitizer and contact solution.

Katie Teague/CBS

Here’s what to do

Just before you go on a trip, prepare your contact lens case by cleaning it. Then fill each side halfway with contact solution – or the amount you normally use to fill your case. Close the lids tightly to prevent any solution leakage and store the case in a Ziploc bag inside a backpack or purse where you will have easy access. You can fill multiple contact cases so you have a backup in case something goes wrong, and that means you won’t have to pack a huge bottle of contact solution.

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Then, when it’s time to remove your contact lenses from your eyes, simply grab your case and place your contacts inside. First you’ll want to make sure your hands are as clean as possible.

This simple solution is smart because it saves time and keeps your eyes fresh.

Read more: Yes, you can save money on travel despite inflation

What we advise against doing with your contact lenses

When it’s time to delete your contacts, be careful. After all, you only have one pair of eyes. Here’s what we recommend. Dr. Mika Moy, clinical professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of California, Berkeley, also provided insight below.

Don’t: Remove your contact lenses during turbulence on the plane. Contact lens solution can spill, your contact lenses can fly off, and you can dig into your pupil.

Do this instead: Wait until the plane is stable to avoid poking your eye. Or instead of wearing contacts, wear your glasses during the flight to prevent your contacts from drying out.

Don’t do this either: Remove your contact lenses while driving or if the road is bumpy.

Do this instead: Wait until you stop at a gas station to wash your hands and remove your contacts.

Do not do that : Take only one pair of contact lenses with you. Anything can happen when you remove your contacts, including if a lens rips or falls on the floor (ew).

Do this instead: Always bring an extra pair or two with you as a backup.

Do not do that : Put contacts on when you have red eyes.

Do this instead: Always bring an extra pair of glasses in case you develop an eye infection during your trip.

Do not do that : Sleep in your contacts. Ophthalmologists will tell you that it can cause an infection, or worse. (I admit that I need to follow my own advice more often.)

Do this instead: Place the solution-filled case next to your bed so you can easily remove your contacts without getting up, whether you’re traveling or at home in bed.

Moy suggests asking your eye doctor for one-day disposable contact lenses when traveling. “Daily lenses are generally more comfortable and healthier for the eyes, because they’re only used once and don’t need to be disinfected at all,” she says.

For more life advice, here how to make distilled water for free, how to cut a cake like a pro with dental floss and how to end junk mail for good.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.


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