Travelling with diabetes

Spectacle specifics

Check that your sunshades are doing what they should be.

Inexpensive pairs of novelty sunglasses

are fun enough, but such glasses are

unlikely to be effectively blocking out UV

rays. While they might shield out the glare

so you don't need to squint, they won't

offer any real protection for your eyes.

Joana Tandoc, and optician with Acuitis

UK says, "Long-term exposure to UV

can impact the eyes in several ways as

it can cause the natural lens in our eyes,

which is normally clear, to become cloudy

after years of UV exposure, also known

as cataracts. Prolonged exposure can

also cause Pinguecula, where the whites

of our eyes become yellowish in nature

due to fatty deposits that develop on the

whites of our eyes and can be irritating.

And, more importantly skin cancer in the

eyelids can be affected. Dark tints on

sunglasses can also be misleading, as it

can lead people to think they offer more

UV protection, and this is not necessarily

the case; a darker tint can actually make

the pupils dilate more and effectively allow

even more UV in the eyes.

Sunglasses that offer the appropriate

protection should have a CE mark on

them. This is the European standard

of UV protection. This means that the

Lisa Artis, speaking for The Sleep Council

says, "Whether on your journey there,

or on your way home, eat according to

normal mealtimes of your destination,

avoid alcohol and take regular walks

up and down the aisle. For less exotic

destinations, sleep issues are more likely

to extend to comfort than jet lag. Having

an eye mask and ear plugs will aid sleep

if noise or light outside may be an issue.

Keep your bed as a 'sleep zone' and

check the temperature in your room. It's

hard in hot places, but if you can, try to

keep the bedroom cool; the ideal sleeping

environment is 16 to 18 degrees. Try to

keep to regular hours as much as possible

and remember it's still important to factor

in some wind-down time - spend at least

15 minutes doing something relaxing

before bed."

For copies of The Sleep Council's

Good-Night Guide or Bed Buyers Guide

call 0800 018 7923 or visit

Holiday help

Going on holiday for people with diabetes

is not quite so straight forward and

requires more planning, especially for

those treated with insulin. The security at

airports and on flights means that carrying

injection devices and insulin on planes

requires prior arrangements to be made.

The InDependent Diabetes Trust [IDDT]

provides a Holiday Information Pack

with tips on looking after diabetes in

hot weather, foot care while on holiday,

carrying tablets and insulin to other


IDDT can send the FREE Holiday Pack

to you. Call 01604 622837 to request a

copy or email enquiries@iddtinternational.

org or write to IDDT, PO Box 294,

Northampton NN1 4XS.

sunglasses should not allow more than

5% of UVB rays that is below 380nm."

When selecting the right pair of

sunglasses this season, the first thing

to determine is your face shape - oval,

round, heart or square - as this is an

important factor in finding frames that will

best compliment you and fit well. Check

the CE markings on the frame to see that

they are kosher.

Tandoc adds, "Individuals also need

to be aware of what they want the

sunglasses for, especially if they are for

sports (including skiing/ snowboarding/

water sports). This is because water and

snow reflect a lot of light (increasing the

amount of UV absorbed by the eyes)

and hence polarised sunglasses are

very important to consider. The majority

of people are very concerned about the

sunglasses directly covering the front of

their eyes. Most of the time they do not

realise that UV also enters their eyes

from the side so when selecting frames

it's important to identify how much sun

exposure you will be getting, activities

you'll be performing and how much overall

coverage the shades provide including

from the sides and top."

We wish you

happy travels!


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