Safely taking glaucoma medications whilst travelling and holidays

Fingers crossed, we should be packing our bags for green and amber countries soon! Of course, a break from life can ensure slackening of rituals, which should be avoided with respect to ocular medications.

We can attempt to ensure compliance to medications utilizing the following practical suggestions:

  1. Keep Glaucoma Medication In Your Hand Luggage
    Fortunately, medications are allowed to be carried on whilst flying, which is invaluable to ensure long flights are not a hindrance to instilling drops. In the current situation passengers are still required to wear face masks (unless exempt), which of course exacerbates dry eyes. Lubricant medications should be used to ensure the eyes are comfortable.Whilst glaucoma surgery is not an absolute contra-indication for flying, it would mean follow-up will be compromised. Hence it is sensible to avoid flying until a degree of stability is reached.
  2. Ensure That You Travel With Plenty Of Glaucoma Medication
    Negotiation with physicians and pharmacists is important to ensure adequate medication is available for the duration of the holiday. It is also extremely sensible to know how and where to seek ophthalmic help in the country being visited.
  3. Set Alarms and RemindersIrrespective of whether you have been taking Glaucoma medication for weeks, months or years, it’s recommended to set alarms and reminders when travelling and going on holiday. Doing so will ensure that consistency is achieved ensuring the drops are affective during the day.
  4. Determine Whether Your Glaucoma Medication Is Suitable For The Climate You Are Travelling To
    Importantly, some medications must be refrigerated and kept at a certain temperature. Some patients carry cool boxes with them to achieve this, which is an excellent adjunct to have.
  5. Be Mindful Of New Symptoms
    Be mindful of any new symptoms and be aware of red flag symptoms requiring an assessment. These can include: nausea, intense eye pain, headaches, blurred vision, red eyes or haloes.

Gurjeet Jutley
Consultant Ophthalmic surgeon