8 Eye Health Essentials for Travellers
Article by Chew’s Optics Specialist. 5 September 2022
You’re almost done with packing for your holiday. But there are still a few things you might be missing – your eye care products! We know that these items aren’t always top-of-mind for travellers, but it doesn’t make them any less important. And as your personal eye health ambassador in Singapore (unofficially), we can’t just sit back and let you get on your flight without these essentials.
Here’s a list of items you should bring overseas with you to keep your eyes healthy.
Your eye care packing list
1. UV-protected sunglasses
People tend to spend more time outdoors when they are overseas. It’s only natural, considering that you’re in a new, exciting environment with limited time to explore everything. But this also increases your exposure to harmful UV rays, the dangers of which we’ve covered in this article.
Don’t underestimate cloudy days either. About 90% of the sun’s rays can still pass through. Light clouds may even amplify UV levels, according to MedicalNewsToday. Your best (and most stylish) protection is a pair of sunglasses with UV400 lenses, which can block almost 100% of UV light.
2. Eye drops for lubrication
Between the low levels of humidity and the constant blowing of cool air directly onto your eyes, airplane cabins are a common trigger for dry eyes. Your first line of defence should be to stay hydrated at all times – and by this, we mean water. Try to stay away from alcohol, coffee and tea, which can contribute to the loss of fluid.
Beyond that, you can also use lubricating eye drops, especially if you’re highly prone to dry eyes. If you’re unsure whether certain eye drops will worsen your condition, consider consulting a seasoned optometrist in Singapore like Chew’s Optics to find the most suitable eye drops for you.
3. Eye mask
Another way to combat dry eyes while travelling is to use an eye mask. Useful for long-haul flights, they can help reduce the amount of dry air that gets to you while you’re sleeping. To prevent eye fatigue, you’ll need your nightly 8 hours as well. An eye mask will allow you to sleep through the changes in time zones when you fly from Singapore to the other side of the world.
Always wear spectacles instead of contact lenses during a long flight or road trip. While there are contact lenses that help with dry eyes, we’d advise against wearing them on long-haul flights as they may dry out easily. It’s also generally not a good idea to sleep with contact lenses (whether or not they’re designed for dry eyes). It’s best to err on the side of caution and switch to spectacles. Your glasses also happen to be a great option for protecting your eyes when it gets windy.
5. Face towel
Face towels have a multitude of uses. One of them is to soothe your tired eyes. This is what you need to do: Soak your towel in warm water, make sure it’s damp (but isn’t dripping), and drape it over your eyes for about 5 minutes.
This acts as a warm compress, which offers instant relief from dry and itchy eyes. It can also prevent the oil near your eyelids from clogging, and treat muscle spasms in your eyes. If one of your eyes is infected, make sure to use two separate towels for each eye, so that the infection will be less likely to spread.
6. Eye wash solution
Did some dirt or dust get into your eye? Is an eyelash stuck in there? Before you wash your eye out in the bathroom, think first about the potential impurities and irritants that might be in the water. Singapore may be known for its high quality of water, but not every country has access to clean, or even drinkable, water. Pack a bottle of eye wash solution instead – the safest and most sterile option for keeping your eyes clean.
7. Swimming goggles
Speaking of eye infections, here’s another item to add to your luggage if you’re planning on taking a swim. According to this 2018 study, swimming is one of the main catalysts of water-borne infections. Our oceans, rivers and even public pools can be hosts of bacteria and viruses. Don’t dive in with a bare face. Wear your goggles first and protect your eyes.
8. (Optional) An extra pair of spectacles
We don’t often anticipate such things to happen, but it’s not uncommon for people to lose their glasses or break them while overseas. For those who are especially reliant on their spectacles to see clearly, it would be a good idea to pack an extra pair in case something happens to the first pair.
Your one-stop shop for eye care and eyewear products in Singapore
Head to Chew’s Optics, your friendly neighbourhood optical store nestled along Teck Whye Lane in Singapore, to get everything you need for your holiday. We carry a range of UV-protected sunglasses, spectacles and eye drops.
Our seasoned and experienced optometrists will also be on hand to offer more travel-related eye health advice. If you need to check on or update your prescription before your trip, we’ve got you covered too.
Visit us at 144 Teck Whye Lane, #01-211. We’re open daily except for Mondays. For further enquiries, contact us at +65 8314 7093.