ANDREW GASSON CONTACT LENSES

A LONDON SPECIALIST CONTACT LENS PRACTICE SINCE 1972

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FLYING AND CONTACT LENSES

 

Flying

Contact lens wearers should be especially careful when flying

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Dry eyes

Discomfort

Red eyes

Infections

 

PROBLEMS ARE CAUSED BY

Low humidity

Low level of oxygen

Poor handling in strange surroundings

Solutions

 

HUMIDITY AND DEHYDRATION

Low humidity in cabin

Alcohol - freely available and dehydrates the system

Other medications - e.g antihistamines - also dehydrate

Some modern lenses dehydrate faster

 

OXYGEN

Lens dehydration reduces oxygen supply to the eye

Lower partial pressure of oxygen in the cabin

Falling asleep on the flight = accidental extended wear

 

INFECTIONS

Pathogens in recirculated air

Secondary to sinus or nasal problems

Reduced resistance to infection because of:

Impaired tears film
Fatigue
Less efficient solutions used while travelling

 

ADVICE TO LENS WEARERS

Avoid lenses while flying, especially long-haul flights

Consider daily disposables while travelling

Use comfort drops to lubricate eyes and lenses

Avoid alcohol

Take extra care with solutions while travelling:

Simpler systems must still be used as recommended
No short cuts
Avoid new or untried solutions
Overseas solutions with the same name may have different formulation

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