Traveling can be taxing on the entire body, but the eyes are especially vulnerable - particularly while wearing a mask against COVID-19. When traveling by plane, the dry air can cause your eyes to become red, parched and irritated. While you can’t control all variables during your travels, eye specialists have discovered a number of ways to reduce the chances of experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of ‘travelers dry eye.’
Here are five suggestions for preventing dry eye from affecting your vision.
Drink plenty of water. If your body isn’t properly hydrated, it will have a tougher time increasing tear production in a dry atmosphere. Humidity levels on planes are typically below 20%, which is lower than the Sahara Desert! Keep your eyes moist and comfortable by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your flight.
Wear your glasses. Since contact lenses remove moisture from your eye's surface tear film, they can contribute to dry eye. Wearing your glasses can help keep your eyes moist.
Wear a sleep mask. Even when your eyelids are closed, your eyes might lose moisture, which happens frequently when you sleep. On a plane, a sleep mask can help prevent additional dryness.
Use hydrating eye drops. When you're in a dry environment, a good hydrating eye drop can provide a brief respite.
Make sure your face mask fits snugly. When a person’s breath rises upward it can dry out their eyes. A face mask that fits securely around the bridge of the nose can prevent air from reaching the eyes.
If dry eye is making you miserable, especially when traveling, there is no reason to suffer. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Alan Schlussel Dry Eye Center and find out what could be causing your dry eye symptoms and how to treat them.
Dr. Alan Schlussel Dry Eye Center serves patients from West Orange, Verona, Newark, and Essex County, New Jersey and surrounding communities.
- A: In some cases, yes. There is a range of successful treatment options that can help manage dry eye for long-term relief. Your eye doctor can also provide in-office treatments for more advanced forms of dry eyes.
- A: Depending on the cause of the dry eye, treatment options include:- In-office treatments
- Punctal plugs
- Topical steroids
- Warm compresses
- Protective eyewear
- Intense pulse light
- Switching to medications that don’t cause dry eye symptoms