Can You Take Eye Drops On a Plane? 2023

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If your doctor prescribes you eye drops, it is important to keep them handy even when traveling on planes.

However; if this is your first time traveling with eye drops you may wonder if you are allowed to bring any size of eye drops on planes.

Here’s the good news:

You can take prescription and over the counter eye drops on planes in both carry-on and check bags, eye drops are considered medically necessary liquids so they do not need to follow the TSA liquids rule.

Keep reading to learn more about traveling with eye drops in both domestic and international flights.

Let’s dive right in.

Can You Take Eye Drops On a Plane?

eye drop bottle cap

Do Eye Drops Count As Liquid TSA?

Before we dive into the specific rules about bringing eye drops on planes, let’s look first at what the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rules are.

The 3-1-1 liquid rule means that any container of liquids, pasts, creams and aerosols need to be 3.4 oz / 100 ml or less and placed inside a quart sized bag when transported in carry-on baggage each passenger is allowed only one quart sized bag of liquids.

However, medical necessary items like eye drops or contact lens solution are exempted from this rule and they can be greater than 3.4 oz and they aren’t required to be stored inside a quart sized bag.

Most eye drop containers are already less than 3.4 oz.

And even if they do you can still bring eye drops through the TSA security checkpoint and they won’t be counted as a normal liquid.

Just ensure that you make them easy to access for inspection and inform the TSA officer that you have eye drops inside your bag.

Here is a screenshot from the TSA website.

The TSA Rules on eye drops

They added a note which may confuse many travelers ( less than or equal to 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed ).

I also looked through their social media in search of some answers.

Soo wonder if eyedrops and lipsticks have to follow the 3-1-1 liquid rule.

the TSA answer about if eye drops need to follow the 311 rule

The AskTSA customer service replied that eye drops are allowed in carry-on bags and can be greater than 3.4 oz, and they aren’t required to be packed in your quart sized liquids bag.

Solid lipsticks are good to go as well without any restrictions.

Can You Take Eye Drops In Checked Baggage?

Eye drops are good to go in checked bags without quantity limits, but it’s not advised to pack them there.

the TSA answer about taking eye drops in checked bags

This is because items can go missing from checked bags or even your bag can be lost.

So it is a good idea to always take any type of liquids inside your personal item.

Taking Eye Drops On International Flights

Most of the time you will not have any issues taking small quantities of eye drops to another country.

However; it is better if you conduct a small research regarding the rules for taking medical items to your specific destination country.

For example in the UK you will need proof that the medication is prescribed to you if the medication is in liquid form and the container is larger than 3.4 oz / 100ml.

But as a general rule of thumb it is better to check with your airline beforehand and keep your eye drops in their original packaging, and a labeled container, with a note from your doctor explaining the medical use.

How Do You Travel With Eye Drops That Need Refrigeration?

If you are traveling with eye drops that require refrigeration, you can either use a small portable cooler or use gel packs along the cooler , ice packs can be frozen prior to your flight and placed inside the cooler.

However; you can always contact your airline and ask them if they can help, and keep your eye drops cool during the flight.

You can also ask the flight attendant to store your eye drops during the flight if the airplane have a refrigerator.

Extra Stuff To Know When Traveling With Eye Drops

In addition to the TSA regulations, it is also wise to do some homework to avoid any inconvenience at the airport:

  • Prescription eye drops: if you are traveling with prescription eye drops, it is better if you take them in their original packaging and keep a copy of the prescription or doctor note with you.
  • Traveling internationally: for international flights ensure that you plan ahead and double check the rules of your destination country or with your airline as they may have different rules and restrictions on traveling with medications.
  • Taking large quantities of eye drops: if you have a medical condition that requires traveling with a large quantity of eye drops, you can either place it in your checked bag ( which is not recommend ), or transfer them into smaller travel-sized containers, This can help you pack them more efficiently and avoid any potential issues at the security checkpoint.

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Final Thoughts 

Generally, you can bring over the counter and prescription eye drops on a plane in your carry-on bag.

Eye drops are considered medical items and you can take them through the security checkpoint even if they are more than 3.4 oz and do not need to be placed in a quart sized bag.

When going through airport security take out your eye drops from the bag and place them with other liquids in a separated bin for further screening.

If you are traveling with prescription eye drops it is recommended to place them in their original packaging and bring a copy of the prescription to avoid any inconvenience at the airport.

We hope this helps 

Happy travels