It’s the holiday season and many are travelling either outstation or overseas to see their next of kin. As often is the case, health does get a little neglected when one is travelling as a regular daily routine gets disrupted. Likewise, eye health too can get disrupted to some extent if you have forgotten to include something in your travel list. Here are a few things that you could include in your checklist concerning your eye care before you hit the road.
1. EYE MEDICATION
Remember to pack prescription eye drops for conditions such as glaucoma or dry eye.
Eye Drops should be packed in your cabin luggage when travelling for two reasons. Firstly, in case your check-in luggage gets lost or delayed and secondly to avoid the eyedrops from being exposed to heat. Every eye drop has a package insert that you can refer to, for storage temperature reference. Generally, all eye drops will need to be kept cool as heat damages them. Keep all the eyedrops in their original packaging for airport security examination. It will be a good idea to have a short note from your doctor with regards to what you are carrying. Another thing that sometimes gets forgotten is the eyedrop instillation. Do set up phone alarm reminders for eyedrop instillation especially when there is a change in time zones.
It is always important to have a good pair of sunglasses as protection when sightseeing. Chances are when you are travelling, you will be moving around outdoors sightseeing. Harmful UV radiation from the sun can damage various parts of the eyes including conjunctiva, lens and also the retina (nerve). Choose a pair of sunglasses that has a CE mark, with 100% UV protection from UVA and UVB rays, or has a UV400 tag. Wrap-arounds that prevent strong sunlight from passing through the sides is good.
CLIP-ON SHADES is a good alternative for those who wear a prescription pair of spectacles to correct a refractive error and do not have a prescription pair of sunglasses. The clip-ons are a convenient option to use over the powered spectacles. The downside is that if they have a poor fit, they can fall off or scratch the spectacles that they clip on to.
CONTACT LENSES. If you are a contact lens wearer, always pack adequate number of contacts before going on a vacation. Change them more often when travelling and avoid wearing them on a long-haul flight.
3. HAND SANITIZERS
The golden rule is to always wash your hands or hand-sanitize them before handling those eyedrops to be instilled into your eyes. Infections are easy to pick up during travel and hand cleanliness is important.
For more information, please call Gill Eye Specialist Centre, Hospital Fatimah 05 545 5582 or email email@example.com
Dr S.S. Gill
Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist, Hospital Fatimah