Dr Lee Sao Bing, medical director at Shinagawa Lasik Centre in Singapore, tells Cheryl Leong why you shouldn’t neglect your eye health when you travel.
He shares key eye care tips here:
Dry eyes affect one in five Singaporeans, and the dry air on a plane makes it worse.
- Always pack eyedrops
These mimic the content of our tears and keep eyes hydrated.
- Use regular saline, if you don’t have eyedrops handy
Don’t use tap water to wash your eyes as it can lead to eye infections. Regular saline is more sterile than tap water.
- Wear your glasses, not your contact lenses, on the plane
Especially on a long-haul flight. If you really can’t do without your lenses, bring your lens case on the plane with you so you can store your lenses properly if you need to take them out halfway.
On a driving holiday
- Direct the aircon vents away from your eyes so they don’t dry up.
- Avoid roads that are too dim, if you suffer from high myopia or astigmatism. The beam from oncoming cars is extra glaring on dimly lit roads and may blind you temporarily.
On a golfing holiday
You’ll be spending many hours in the sun, so UV protection is crucial to prevent the onset of cataracts.
- Wear sunglasses with multi-focal lenses, says Dr Lee Sao Bing, medical director at Shinagawa Lasik Centre in Singapore. They protect your eyes and boost your game – by reducing the sun’s glare, you’ll be able to see the contour of the land and judge distances better.
On a beach holiday
- Never wear your contact lenses in the ocean
Seawater and micro-debris in the water may lead to a cornea infection. Use powered goggles instead.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses
These prevent sunlight from entering your eyes from the sides.
- Wear polarised shades for sea sports
Polarised shades reduce the blinding effect of glare from the sun – useful if you’re doing sea sports.
- If you’ve just had Lasik surgery, only snorkel or dive a month after the procedure.
On a winter holiday
- Don't forget about your sunglasses
Snow is beautiful but it’s also blinding – it reflects ultraviolet light, which can lead to snow blindness ie “sunburnt” eyes, so always wear your sunnies. This will also prevent the onset of pterygium – a slow growth on the surface of the eye that can lead to inflammation, persistent redness and impaired vision. Excessive exposure to sun and wind in winter sports can cause it too. Image: Getty Images