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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

What to Do If You Forgot Your Artificial Tears Before a Flight?

Realizing you've forgotten your artificial tears just before a flight can be a stressful moment if you are prone to dry eyes. Several strategies can help you cope with the situation when you need to keep your eyes comfortable during your flight, even without your lubricating eye drops.

Coping Strategies for Dry Eyes During Flights

1. Stay Hydrated

  • Drink Water

  • Avoid Dehydrating Drinks

Drink plenty of water before and during your flight. Staying well-hydrated maintains the body's moisture levels, including tear production. Minimize or avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine on board, as they can dehydrate your body and exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Opt for tea instead.

2. Use the In-Flight Amenities

  • Hot Towels

  • Humidifiers

Non-economy airlines often provide hot towels during the flight. You can place a hot towel over your closed eyes for a few minutes to provide moisture and relief. Some modern aircraft have built-in humidifiers in premium cabins. If you forgot your artificial tears, take advantage of these features if available to you.

3. Don't Wear Contact Lenses

  • Wear Glasses

If you wear contact lenses, consider removing them, as they are very drying in airplane environments. Wear glasses instead. Glasses can help reduce air movement around your eyes and retain moisture.

remove contact lenses during flights

4. Adjust Your Environment

  • Aisle Seat Selection

  • Adjust Air Vents

If possible, choose an aisle seat where air circulation is better than middle and window seats. This may reduce the drying effect of the cabin air. Direct the air vents away from your face to prevent the dry, circulated air from blowing directly into your eyes.

5. Blink Frequently

  • Conscious Blinking

Make a conscious effort to blink more often. Especially when reading, watching movies, or using electronic devices on board. Blinking helps to spread a fresh layer of tears across the eyes and helps eye strain.

6. After Arrival

  • Purchase Artificial Tears Upon Landing

Artificial tears are available without a prescription. So if you have dry eyes, as soon as you land, find a pharmacy or convenience store in the airport or near your destination to purchase lubricating eye drops.

artificial tears during flights


Using artificial tears during a flight is the best way to keep your eyes comfortable and lubricated. So forgetting artificial tears before a flight can be inconvenient if you tend to get irritation or dry eyes on board. But with some adjustments, you can still manage the symptoms until you can replace your artificial tears. By taking these steps, you can ensure a more pleasant and eye-friendly flight experience.


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