Hand sanitiser, toilet roll, flour - these lockdown-induced shortages have passed, to make room for a new one: bicycles. Whether you’re avoiding public transport to minimise the risk of catching COVID-19 or looking to venture further afield for exercise, bikes are at a premium at the moment.
Over 1.3 million Brits have rushed to buy a bike during lockdown - that’s over 5% of the country’s population. This massive surge in bike sales is guaranteed to bring a lot of new cyclists on the roads, as well as encourage seasoned pros to use their bike more frequently. No matter your cycling experience, having clear, uninterrupted vision when on the road is essential. You probably know where we’re going with this one: what type of vision correction goes perfectly with your helmet, gives you freedom of movement, healthy and comfortable eyesight and strong peripheral vision? Bingo - your contact lenses! We’ve put together 5 must-follow tips so you can enjoy healthy vision and comfort while out on your bike.
Get clear, comfortable vision
This is just stating the obvious, but there’s no messing around with your eyesight when cycling. It’s important to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear, so make sure you’re wearing the right contact lenses for you. A comfortable lens will keep your eyes hydrated to the point that you almost forget you have them on. If that’s not the case for you, we recommend to book an eye test with your optician and speak to them about your vision needs.
Our opticians recommend switching to daily contact lenses when cycling, as they are convenient, hygienic and breathable. Daily contacts are easy to dispose of at the end of the day, without worrying about a cleaning routine or any residue build-ups, allowing you to start the next day with fresh, hydrated vision. Plus, they’re individually packed, so if you’d rather not use them every day, you can make them last longer and save some extra money.
Mind the pollen
Pollen is everywhere - not just in the countryside! If you’re cycling through a park or even a leafy road, pollen particles can still make their way to your eyes, causing you all the dreaded hay fever symptoms. Plus, there are other environmental factors that might cause dry eyes, such as air pollution. Stay on top of it all by downloading Klara, a free app that sends you daily pollen, weather and air quality data for any UK location. You can get a 3-day forecast, as well as personalised allergy tips for those affected by pollen from grass, trees or weeds. If you do feel your eyes need a bit of a boost anyway, try using eye drops or artificial tears to give them a refresh before and after your ride.
Harmful UVA and UVB sun rays can make their way to your eyes even on the cloudiest day. But fear not, there is a wide range of contact lenses with a UV filter, designed to offer an extra layer of protection against sun damage. Wearing UV contact lenses is only half the story: make sure you put on your favourite sunglasses for that extra bit of protection. More experienced riders prefer using cycling sunglasses and goggles as they follow an aerodynamic shape, providing minimum resistance against the wind, so you can go as fast as you like.
Now that your eyes are comfortable, you’ll need to make sure the rest of your setup also works in your favour. First off, pick the right helmet for you: one that is sturdy, lightweight and ventilated, and that you actually want to wear as well. Odds are, if you don’t like the way a helmet looks or fits, you’ll be more reluctant to wear it. Another big benefit you get when wearing your contact lenses and cycling is that they make wearing a face mask a whole lot easier. You won’t have to look for ways to stop your glasses fogging up when wearing a mask, or stop mid-way to wipe them down.
Also, wear clothes that you’ll feel at ease in and that won’t get caught while you’re pedalling. Going for natural fibres like cotton or linen is a good move, as they’ll help keep you cool too. If cycling to work, it’s good to bring an extra set of clothes to change into when you get there.
Whatever the weather, cycling is bound to make you thirsty. You’re exercising your whole body which will no-doubt result to you sweating - and by the time you feel thirsty, you’ll already be dehydrated. Try to drink small, frequent quantities of water or a sports energy drink throughout your journey. Keeping hydrated is particularly good for your eyes too, as it helps keep them moisturized.