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Systane and Zaditor: How to Beat Dry, Itchy Eyes When You Travel

Zaditor and Systane

Systane & Zaditor

FYI – This page includes affiliate links which means if you purchase something I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

My eyes are often a nightmare when I travel.  They turn into dry, stinging orbs exacerbated by hot, windy, dry or dusty locations—Africa being a particularly difficult nemesis. It’s frustrating.

Add in long plane rides, time spent in front of my computer, and lack of sleep, and I want to claw my eyes out of my head. At my wit’s end, I asked my ophthalmologist for help.  He suggested what turned out to be a miracle combo: Systane and Zaditor (They both come in .5ml bottles, perfect for a TSA-friendly carry-on bag).

(Before I continue, I am not a nurse or in the medical field. I recommend you speak with your ophthalmologist first before trying these drops yourself.)

Both solutions are over-the-counter and provide a huge relief for dry eyes like mine and perhaps yours. 

Zaditor is a topical antihistamine, it reduces itching and burning and the resulting inflammation. FYI.. sometimes a tiny sting to the solution when you use it.

A lubricant eye drop, Systane is for itchy, dry eyes. There is also a Systane gel drops I use when my eyes are truly on fire. (The gel is super goopy, so I only put a drop in each eye when I’m about to go to bed. In the morning you’ll feel better.)

When I apply a combination of these two wonderful drops the results are incredible.

How I Use Them Systane and Zaditor Together

On nights when my eyes hurt, I take out my contact lenses and I put a drop of Zaditor in my eyes, wait a few minutes then follow it with a drop of Systane. In the morning, I repeat the Zaditor and then place a drop of Systane on my contact lens before putting it in AND a drop in my eyes. I don’t know why, but the combination of the drop on my lens and in my eye is key. It’s as if the double layer of liquid creates a barrier from dust and pollens.

I notice a difference if I don’t do this.

When I am home, I use Zaditor less because my need is less but I always carry a bottle of Systane with me to help me out during the day.

Thanks to both these products I literally and figuratively, have a solution.


For other essential products I use and love, check out my Insatiable Traveler Amazon store. Nothing is sponsored.


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Between arid destinations, long-haul flights, dust and wind, my eyes are a mess when I travel. Systane and Zaditor are magic. Best way to beat dry eyes.

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