Summer is officially upon us, and you might be wondering what your plans to take a holiday away from the hustle should entail. We hear you - 2020 has been a strange year, and jetting off to a tropical retreat might not be what you fancy right now.
Many people might be put off hotels and planes at the moment - but socially distanced outdoors holidays like camping are enjoying a surge in the UK. Those that aren't able to go further than their address, whether they don't feel quite ready yet to venture out, or they were unable to nab a place at a campsite before it got all booked up, can even pitch a tent in the comfort of their garden and revel in the best of both worlds. Whatever your camping style, we've put together some hygiene tips so you can keep your eyes healthy and your contact lenses comfortable this summer.
The (very) happy camper
Who wouldn't swap Netflix for stargazing and a microwave for an open fire after several months of lockdown? If waking up to the sound of the birds, boiling a pot of coffee over a fire and embarking on scenic hiking trails is more your vibe then the time is now.
As far as UK campsites go, we're spoilt for choice: Camp Hox in Oxfordshire, Lusty Glaze Beach in Cornwall and Finchingfield Camping in Essex are among the top camper favourites. But it's easy to get distracted with all the logistics and forget to pack the eye care essentials to keep your eyes happy and comfortable, such as your go-to eye drops.
The no-further-than-my-address adventurer
Let's face it, we're not all fully-fledged outdoor enthusiasts, and if you're after a night of sleeping alfresco, with your home comforts just a few steps away, then opt to camp in your garden. There's no reason why you can't have just as much fun as those who have gone further afield, and for contact lens wearers, you can easily nip to your bathroom to thoroughly wash your hands when removing or applying your lenses, to help reduce risk of infection or irritation.
Top camping tips for contact lens wearers
Switch to daily contact lenses
When it comes to making the most of outdoor time, daily contact lenses are the way to go, as you can dispose of them at the end of an action-packed day and start fresh the next. Who has time for a solution routine when you're surrounded by a beautiful scenery waiting to be explored? Our customers love 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST: these ultra-comfortable daily disposable contact lenses are designed with LACREON® Technology that helps keep moisture in and irritation out, making them ideal for dry or sensitive eyes.
Their ability to retain moisture all day makes these lenses ideal for those seizing the day in the countryside. Avid explorers looking for a toric lens can enjoy 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST for ASTIGMATISM, designed to correct astigmatism while making holidaying with contacts a breeze. It's important to book an eye test and speak to your optician before going for the switch.
Keep it clean
The remote location of your camping spot might make your daily contact lens process a bit trickier. Thorough hand hygiene is really important before applying or removing contact lenses: this includes washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying with a clean, lint-free towel - you should be able to do this at any showering/washing facilities. If soap and water are not available, you should clean your hands with alcohol hand gel and allow it to dry before touching your eyes and applying contact lenses.
It's also important to keep your surroundings clean too, so ensure you don't leave any litter and dispose of your contact lenses properly.
Stay sun-safe and take paddling precautions
With the wilderness on your doorstep, don't hesitate to get out and make the most of it, and using your contacts while exercising will definitely enhance your experience. As you'll be spending so much time in the sun, it's vital to stay sun-safe with sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and contact lenses that provide UV protection - 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST have Class 2 UV protection, blocking 99% of harmful UVB and 85% of UVA sun rays*. If you're tempted to cool down in a nearby river or pool, don't forget to take out your contact lenses while swimming to avoid eye infections.
Defeat dry eyes when camping
You can't really beat a BBQ or an open fire in the summer, and of course, roasting marshmallows is an essential part of any authentic camping experience. Even if you're grilling up some burgers in your garden, the smoke can leave your eyes feeling irritated and dry. To rehydrate your lenses, use eye drops compatible with your contacts to soothe any discomfort. Finally, you might feel tempted to take a quick snooze in a hammock or on your lawn after a day out hiking or enjoying lunchtime G&Ts. Before giving in, make sure that you don't fall asleep with your lenses in to avoid itchy eyes, discomfort and health conditions down the line. After a stargazing session in the evening, clean your hands and then carefully remove your lenses.
*Reference: JJV Data on File 2020. Material Properties: 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST, 1-DAY ACUVUE TruEye and ACUVUE OASYS 1-Day with HydraLuxe Technology Brand Contact Lenses and other daily disposable contact lens brands. All ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses have UV Blocking to help provide protection against transmission of harmful UV radiation to the cornea and into the eye. UV absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV absorbing eyewear such as UV absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV absorbing eyewear as directed by your eye care professional.