Planning a trip?

Annis Optometry PLANNING A TRIP?Traveling within the confines of the good ol' U.S.A. is a whole lot less challenging than traveling abroad. So if you plan to travel within our own borders, an extra pair of glasses, an extra few contact lenses and, of course, the cell phone will get you handily out of most jams, especially if you remember to take your eye doctor's number with you. Oh, and don't forget your favorite shades!

But what if your plans include some exotic, out-of-the-way destination? Well, first of all, we envy you! But apart from that, you really need to think ahead. The initial advise still holds true - extra glasses, extra contacts and lens care solutions, and sunglasses. But you'll need to consider a few extra precautions.

If departing by air from the U.S., the rules have changed again. Previously, you could carry-on containers with only 3 oz. of liquid (or less) and they had to be enclosed in see-through plastic bags. Now, you are not limited in the amounts you can carry-on, but if it's more than 3 oz. or not in a plastic bag, you have to tell security and allow them to inspect it. So, especially if you're a contact lens wearer, it's probably still easier to not stuff that giant bottle of lens solution into your carry-on. Of course you can always put as much as you'd like into your checked luggage. Pay special note that the availability of certain lens solutions you're familiar with may not be available in other countries. If you'd care to use something you're familiar with, bring enough!

Seriously consider bringing copies of spectacle and contact lens prescriptions so that if the worst should happen, you have some chance of getting things replaced. This is particularly true if you plan an extended stay.

While in the air, no matter what the distance, you may experience eye discomfort from increased dryness during flights. You can thank the forced air and low humidity for that. Older folks and anyone wearing contacts are more susceptible to dryness. If your symptoms are mild or the flight short, lubricating drops in a bottle will probably help reduce the discomfort - just look around, others are probably using them too! Removing any contacts before the flight and using glasses is a lot easier on the eyes in terms of dryness.

More often than not, people vacation in sunny climates. You really need to have a pair of quality sunglasses as a protector from ultraviolet light - it's much more intense and brutal as you travel toward the equator. And if your trip involves being on or near the water, you get zapped with a double-dose. Polarized sunglasses block all the UV and also block reflected glare from water and sand surfaces, a double blessing for scorched eyes.

So think ahead. Be prepared. And don't allow any eye-related disasters to spoil an otherwise perfect and much anticipated vacation!

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