With domestic and international flights back in full-force many of us will be on-board an aircraft in the coming months… which poses a host of challenges for Dry Eye sufferers.
Why are Dry Eyes worse on airplanes?
For two main reasons; first, the air onboard an aircraft is circulated via an ‘air-conditioning’ style system. Air conditioned environments can cause Dry Eye symptoms to become worse as the faster moving air flow wicks away tears from the surface of the eye quicker – causing them to dry out faster. Secondly, when on flights we are typically staring at some kind of screen (for example, the personal television screen that most aircrafts now have) or your device (phone, ipad, Kindle). Research has shown that we blink 6-8x less when looking at a screen, so our tears are not being replenished as often – again leading to drier eyes and the accompanying symptoms.
What can I do to combat Dry Eyes on an airplane?
5 tips to help soothe your Dry Eyes for a smoother journey:
1. Spritz before, during and after. Keep your lubricating or hydrating eye drops or eye spray (like our Peep Club Instant Relief Eye Spray) in your hand luggage and easily accessible. For flights that are 3 hours or longer we would advise applying one spray to both of your eyes before the flight ideally while you are checking-in, then spray again during the flight, and spray again when you are clearing security or getting your bags. This approach will help fortify your eyes and replace whatever moisture is lost in flight. Please read the label of your specific eye drops to ensure this is safe – this advice largely pertains to our own spray which is gentle enough (and preservative-free) and so can be used in this regular interval.
2. Take off all eye-makeup before the flight. This will ensure that the all-important glands around your eyes are kept free from any accidental blockage of eyeliner or mascara.
3. Take off your contact lenses and wear glasses only for the day. As annoying as it might be, this is the perfect occasion to give your eyes a day-long break from contact lenses and opt for glasses instead.
4. Apply some heat: A plane is the perfect opportunity to spend some dedicated time on hot compress therapy to get the oil glands in your eyes flowing optimally. This may be hard to achieve if you use a hot compress that requires an oven or microwave for heat, consider using our Heated Eye Wand™ which is perfect for this kind of travel – it heats up automatically in 1 minute and is flight-safe (it has the same battery technology as an electric toothbrush)!
5. Hydrate while on board: stay clear of drinks that are caffeinated (coffee, black tea and green tea) and alcohol. Stick with hydrating drinks like water (of course!), herbal teas or even mix a fruit juice with some sparkling water to help get in some easy hydration.