What to know about flying on an airplane with contacts
Have you ever been flying on a plane to reach your vacation destination or going to a conference on the other side of the country and felt your contacts getting dry, causing irritation in your eyes? Well, this is no coincidence.
Many contact wearers might run into this problem because of the pressure change inside the cabin of the airplane. When you're cruising at 30,000 feet in the sky, the atmospheric pressure is reduced, oxygen is reduced and humidity is reduced making the air more dry than normal.
Getting Through Security
With these changes in the environment on an airplane, it is recommended that you should bring contact lens solution with you, but how should you go about getting through airport security?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has strict rules regarding bringing liquids in a carry-on bag. Here is what the TSA requires passengers to adhere by in regards to liquids such as contact lens solution:
“You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item."
With these TSA limitations, bring a travel-size bottle of contact lens solution with you in your carry-on bag. In order to do this, you will need to keep it in a separate zip-top bag within your carry-on bag. This will allow you to use your solution during your flight if you experience dry contacts.
If you're travelling on an extended flight longer than three or four hours, you might want to wait to put in your contacts once you arrive at your destination. The hassle can be overwhelming, especially if you're flying internationally or from coast-to-coast, and it can save you time and discomfort by wearing a pair of prescribed glasses instead of your contact lens.
Sleeping During Your Flight
Many passengers, especially on long international flights, like to sleep to pass the time, but if you're wearing your contact lenses you're going to want to skip your mid-flight nap.
If you've read our previous blog, “Is it bad to sleep in your contacts?," you will know that sleeping in your contacts is like “sleeping with a plastic bag over your head."
With the lack of oxygen, your contact lens tightens in your eye, causing microscopic tears to the cornea, and the effects are doubled when you're in an airplane.
So, if you're going to sleep during your flight, keep your contacts case in your carry-on bag so you can safely store them.
Where to Keep Your Contact Lenses
The last thing you need to consider when you're flying with contact lenses is always store them in your carry-on bag. The last thing you'll want to deal with is losing your contacts in your luggage that was lost in transit to your destination. As a precaution, it is smart to carry your contact lenses and solution in your carry-on bag, even if you're not wearing them during your flight.
As long as you take the right steps and precaution, you'll be able to see far and wide from the airplane and avoid dry eyes from your contact lenses. Don't forget to take two extra pairs of contact lenses just in case you lose or damage your current pair.