10 Festival tips on how to protect your eyes and ears

Already decided on your festival outfits? Brushed the cobwebs off your old tent and sleeping bag? Great, you’re almost ready!

At M&S Opticians, as a trusted provider of eye and hearing care, we want to make sure that you are protected while having fun. That’s why we’ve gathered 10 festival tips on how to protect your eyes and how to protect your ears during festivals.



How to protect your eyes

1. Always keep your sunglasses to hand

We aren’t always blessed with the shining sun for our festivals, but there are always UV rays present. As you’ll be spending so much time outside, it’s vital to protect your eyes from UV rays with a pair of sunglasses. Not only do they protect your eyes, but they can be the perfect tool to disguise day 2 dark circles too!

If you wear prescription glasses, you should consider adding tints to any of your pairs. A lens upgrade with tints can protect your eyes from harmful UV, increase comfort, and enhance your vision.

Our Top Tip: Have a spare pair of sunglasses packed away safely. It’s not uncommon for items to be lost or broken during a festival. If you don’t want to spend a fortune you can find high-quality prescription sunglasses from £89 in a variety of styles!


2. Consider wearing contact lenses at festivals

Whether you are a monthly contact lens wearer or usually stick with your trusty specs, it’s worth considering daily disposables as your festival contact lens. Wearing contact lenses at festivals eliminates the risk of breaking your favourite glasses or dropping a monthly lens on day 3. Plus, they require the least amount of care and maintenance throughout the weekend too.

Simply pop in a new pair of contact lenses each morning with clean, dry hands, and throw them away each night! Our contact lens guides talk through exactly how to pop them in and take them out and offers tips on caring for them.

Our Top Tip: Leave yourself a note in your tent or set a reminder on your phone to remove your contact lenses before you go to sleep!


3. Avoid sharing contact lenses

Glasses wearers will have most likely been asked to let somebody try on their glasses before – often followed by an exaggerated ‘wow’ as they look at the world through your lenses. Although glasses should be cleaned after this, it’s usually a relatively safe interaction.

Sharing contact lenses, however, is a different story. If you’re wearing contacts at festivals and decide to share them, you will be directly transferring bacteria from one eye to the other and risking the development of corneal ulcers.

You may be thinking, ‘why would I be sharing contact lenses?’ and in terms of prescription contact lenses, you’re probably right. Cosmetic contact lenses, however, often make their appearance during festival season, tempting people to experiment with their eye colour for the day and swap colours with their friends.

Our Top Tip: Colourful contacts may look good for the day, but unless you have received them from a registered Optician, they are not worth the potential risks.


4. Be careful of glitter in eyes

We all know that a major part of the fun is getting all dressed up in the latest trends. And who doesn’t want to sparkle all day long? If your packing list includes lots of glitter to complete your looks, be careful where you are applying it.

We recommend not applying glitter to the face altogether, but if you do, be careful to avoid the area near your eyes! Washing any glitter off your face before you sleep can help to avoid getting any glitter in your eyes overnight.

With limited access to sanitation products, glitter in your eye can cause a few problems; it can scratch your cornea leaving your eye bloodshot and painful, and a feeling that there is something in your eye even after it is gone.

Our Top Tip: Pack eye drops! That way, if you do get glitter in your eye, or anything else for that matter, you can safely wash it out with the drops.


5. Keep your eyes hydrated

Drink plenty of water- this is of course, one of the most common festival tips, but did you know that staying hydrated is also important for your eyes?

Dehydrated eyes can become irritated and tired, and the best way to avoid this is to consistently drink enough water. Sometimes, your eyes may need more than just water to feel better; try using eye drops that act as artificial tears and keep your eyes healthy, and increase comfort.

If you experience symptoms of dry eye regularly, speak with your optician about possible treatments.

Our Top Tip:  Excess watering of the eyes can indicate they are dehydrated; pop in some eye drops,  drink your water, and you will feel better.


How to protect your ears

6. Don’t let loud music damage your hearing

Can loud music damage hearing? The short answer is yes. But that’s not to mean you can’t enjoy music safely. It’s all about making smart choices. You know you’re going to be exposed to loud noise regularly, but following a few of our festival tips can make all the difference.

The simplest way to protect your ears is keeping your distance from the speaker to reduce the proximity of the loud noise and give it time to disperse as it travels. Such an easy step, but so important!

If you have any existing hearing conditions, you may need to take additional precautions, and we recommend speaking with your Hearing Aid Audiologist prior to attending.

Our Top Tip:  Stand by the deck to get high-quality sound without the strong sound waves of the speakers.


7. Stay hydrated to prevent temporary hearing loss

Here we are again, reminding you to drink your water! Apart from keeping you and your eyes feeling good, proper hydration can be a factor in how to protect your hearing.

Have you ever noticed that after attending a loud event your ears are ringing, feel ‘full’ or sore and speech sounds muffled? That’s temporary hearing loss. Often it is short-lived and you soon feel back to normal, but repeated temporary hearing loss can lead to long term damage.

Staying hydrated allows the inner ear to function properly and, when coupled with safe listening practices, reduces the likelihood of you experiencing temporary hearing loss. However, if you do experience persistent symptoms of hearing loss, you should book in for a free hearing health check.

Our Top Tip:  You probably need to be drinking more water than you usually would when at a festival – all that dancing and walking around needs to be fuelled. Look out for signs of dehydration, such as feeling dizzy or lightheaded.


8. Earplugs can save the day

Ever wondered how musicians protect their ears? Well, they wear earplugs! There are often misconceptions that wearing earplugs will remove the ability to enjoy the music and interact, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Earplug technology has developed to allow all the nuances of the sound to be enjoyed at a safer level. Specialised earplugs can even help you to hear music and speech with even more clarity while filtering external noises.

While you will need to plan ahead for specialised fitted earplugs, standard earplugs will also reduce the noise to a safe level and can be purchased online.

Our Top Tip: Earplugs come in all shapes and sizes; you can get invisible earplugs, or even a bright colour design to match your personal style.


9. Take breaks when you can

There’s always something going on at a festival, a performance you want to see, a DJ set you can’t miss, or even a silent disco everybody is raving about. We recommend trying to fit a few breaks into your schedule to keep your hearing healthy.

Got some time before the next act ? Make your way to a quiet area of the festival to hydrate and rest your ears all in one go.

Our Top Tip:  Another one of the most popular tips on how to protect your ears - If you are attending a silent disco- is to keep your volume low and take a break from the headphones whenever a song you don’t love comes on.


10. Protect your children at festivals

Festivals can be a fun place for all when approached safely! All of the above tips become increasingly important for children whose eyes and ears are even more vulnerable than adult’s. Regular breaks from loud noise, UV protected sunglasses, and consistent hydration can all assist in keeping them happy and healthy during the festival!

Wondering about your children’s eye care at Glastonbury or any other kid-friendly festival? You may want to consider contact lenses for kids as an option, especially if you’re worried about their glasses getting lost or broken!

Our Top Tip: Ear defenders are an excellent option for children as their hearing is more vulnerable than an adult’s.


Looking for more tips on how to protect your eyes and ears?

If you have found this blog useful, and you are interested in reading more about eye and hearing care, check out our eating well for your eyes blog post.

Do you have more questions? Do not hesitate to contact us or book an appointment. Our experts are always happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have.