Select Page

Some of us have to learn the hard way. After my two-year-around the world trip I discovered I had damaged my eyes by not wearing proper eye protection. My perfect 20/20 eyesight was compromised due to over- exposure to harmful UV rays.

How do you protect your eyes from dry airports, hotels, and the elements? Visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam before you go.

Sun Damage

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, over-exposure to sunlight may increase the risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, eye growths, or cancer.  Protect your eyes when traveling.

  • Make sure your eyewear blocks 100% UVA and UVB. I use Transitions® lenses because they automatically adapt from clear lenses indoors to dark lenses outdoors when exposed to UV light. They block 100 percent of UV rays and help to reduce glare
  • Be aware that that color and  darkness of the lens are not indicators of the degree of protection
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat
  • Remember that on cloudy days the sun’s rays can pass through clouds and still cause damage
  • Pay extra attention to your eye protection between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Wear good sunglasses or Transitions lenses that block 100 percent of UV rays when you are at higher altitudes
  • Never look directly at the sun
  • Wear eye protection all year and in your everyday life.

Red, Scratchy, Dry Eyes

In airplanes and hotels, the heating and air flow systems drain moisture from the air. When you travel to arid and/or windy areas, such as mountains or deserts you may also have dry eyes. Your tears evaporate quickly in low-humidity environments.

To avoid dry eye irritation:

  • Use artificial tears or other over-the-counter remedies. Avoid artificial tears with preservatives because over use can cause blood vessels to constrict.
  • When it’s windy, dry or hot, wear your glasses to help protect your eyes from dust, dry air and dirty wind.

Visit for more healthy vision tips.

The Gutsy Traveler is Ambassador for Transitions® lenses, the Official Sponsor of Sightseeing™,