Five tips for a healthy vacation

— Wash your hands before touching lenses, and use sterile solution. Never expose your lenses to saliva or non-sterile water, including that from the tap, bottle, or ocean. (Non-sterile water can put you at risk for an eye infection.) So remove your contacts before swimming or getting in the hot tub and follow your eye care professional’s other care and removal instructions.

Also remember to bring glasses in case your eyes become irritated. If your vision changes, your eyes get red, you have lots of tears, or your eyes hurt or feel itchy, take out your contact lenses and seek medical attention.

Think Twice About Getting Tattoos or Henna on Vacation

Tattoo and henna shops are often found on boardwalks and other areas around the beach. Whether you consider something non-permanent (like henna) or an actual tattoo, think before you ink. Getting a tattoo can put you at risk for serious infections like HIV or hepatitis if you are exposed to unclean tools, practices, or products. Plus, tattoo inks can cause allergic or otherwise bad reactions.

The FDA has not approved any inks for injecting into the skin and, as a general matter, does not actively regulate tattoo parlors. The FDA also hasn’t approved henna or hair dye for skin use, and some people have reported serious problems after using henna, including allergic reactions such as rashes and scarring.

Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy

Dehydration happens when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. So avoid getting dehydrated. For instance, when you spend a late afternoon at the beach (remember sun safety!) bring water and drink even before you feel thirsty. That said, beware of ice or tap water in places where the water isn’t safe to drink. (Learn more about causes and symptoms of dehydration via the U.S. Library of Medicine.)

Along with staying hydrated, try to make healthy food choices. If you’re at a buffet, you can follow the dietary guidelines, for instance, by first filling your plate with fruits, vegetables and whole grains and then adding the protein source.