Contact Lens Wearers: Travel Tips Just for You

When cared for properly, contact lenses can provide a comfortable and convenient way to work, play, and live for the 45 million people in the U.S. who wear them. While contact lenses are usually a safe and effective form of vision correction, they are not entirely risk-free—especially if they are not cared for properly. Contact lenses are medical devices, and failure to wear, clean, and store them as directed can increase the risk of eye infections, such as microbial keratitis. To reap the benefits of wearing contact lenses, it is essential to practice healthy habits.

With so much to see on your next travel adventure, don’t let an eye infection get in the way. Take care of your contact lens so you can enjoy the sights of your destination. As you prepare for your trip, follow these tips to help prevent contact lens-related eye infections.

Before You Go

  • Make sure your contact lens prescription is up-to-date. Visit your eye care provider yearly or as often as they recommend.
  • Replace your contact lens case every three months.
  • Pack backup supplies, including contact lens case, contacts, glasses, and solution — just in case you lose anything.

During Your Trip

  • Your eyes need a break too. Take out your contact lenses before you sleep, shower, or swim. Wearing contact lenses to bed or exposing them to water increases the risk of painful eye infections.
  • Don’t swim or shower while wearing contact lenses because germs can be carried from the water into your eye.
  • Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eye care provider.
  • Use only fresh contact lens solution – never water – to store your lenses after each use.
    • Never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
  • Don’t buy contact lenses unless they have been prescribed for you. Wearing contacts without a prescription can pose serious risks to your sight and eye health.

Need to update your contact lens prescription or discuss other eye care concerns? Contact us to make an appointment.

Need more guidance on wearing contact lenses safely? The CDC offers many articles and resources.