Eye Care for Long-haul Flight

If you’ve been keeping up with me on social media, you probably saw that I recently returned to Hong Kong for Easter. Sadly, it was to bid farewell to my grandmother who lived to the grand old age of 102. Despite the reason for our visit, my husband and two children also accompanied me and together we made the most of our time there, fully embracing the warmer weather too!

Taking a long-haul flight to Hong Kong used to be a 12-hour journey, but due to the unsettling situation between Ukraine and Russia, it now takes 14 hours. This made me reflect on the importance of our eye health during such lengthy travels and how we can adequately prepare our eyes for this extensive journey.

Traveling can be an exciting adventure, but long-haul flights can take a toll on your eyes. The dry, recycled cabin air can exacerbate eye dryness and fatigue, especially for glasses and contact lens wearers. Here’s how you can keep your eyes refreshed and comfortable, no matter how long the journey.

Eyecare for long haul flight

Eyecare for long haul flight

Before your journey

Aim to get plenty of sleep in the week leading up to your trip, as tired eyes can become dry eyes. If you struggle to sleep during a long flight, like my husband, and you’re already tired from the preceding week, your eyes are likely to become even drier.

Stay Hydrated – Drink Up!

Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining eye moisture, especially in the dry environment of an airplane. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to help prevent dehydration, which can contribute to dry eyes. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can dehydrate you more.

Use Lubricating Eye Drops

For those who wear contact lenses or suffer from dry eyes, lubricating eye drops are a must-have in your carry-on. Use preservative-free drops for the best comfort, and apply them regularly throughout the flight to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. If you wear contacts, consider removing them during the flight and wearing glasses instead to let your eyes rest.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Eye strain and fatigue are common on long flights, particularly if you’re watching movies or reading. To give your eyes a break, follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This simple exercise helps reduce eye strain by giving your eye muscles a chance to relax.

Opt for Glasses Over Contacts

Airplane cabins, with their low humidity levels, can make contact lenses feel uncomfortable. If possible, switch to your glasses during the flight to prevent your contacts from drying out. This can reduce your risk of developing dry eye symptoms.

Choose the Right Eyewear

If you’re planning to sleep on the plane, wear glasses that block blue light. Exposure to blue light from screens can make it harder to fall asleep. For contact lens wearers, consider glasses with photochromic lenses to protect your eyes from UV light and glare without needing to switch between glasses and sunglasses.

Blink More Often

When we focus on screens or reading materials, our blink rate drops significantly, which can lead to drier eyes. Make a conscious effort to blink more often to keep your eyes moist and prevent irritation.

Bring a Sleep Mask

A sleep mask can help you rest better by blocking out cabin lights and providing a moisture barrier for your eyes, keeping them hydrated while you sleep. Choose a mask with a contoured design to avoid pressing against your eyelids and causing discomfort.


With these tips, you can protect your eyes and make your long-haul flight a more comfortable experience. Whether you wear glasses or contacts, taking the right steps to care for your eyes while airborne will help you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy your trip.

Remember, eye care doesn’t take a vacation, so prioritise your visual health just as you would your travel itinerary!

During this trip I came across an array of remarkable gadgets as well as Japanese eye drops that I am excited to share with you all real soon. Stay tuned!