When your eyes lose moisture and become dry, they are prone to many problems. Dehydration may cause irritation, redness, itching, eye strain and make you feel and look tired. The best way to combat these effects is to keep yourself and your eyes well hydrated.
Your eyes are important not only because they provide a window to the world but they also are an integral part of how you look. They are the focal point for people when you engage in conversation. Red and bloodshot eyes may cause you to look tired and worn. That can also make your entire demeanor less attractive. Finally, they can also cause significant discomfort with constant itching and burning.
Many factors contribute to dry eyes including airborne dust, pollution, seasonal pollen and not hydrating properly. Therefore, it’s important to hydrate regularly to avoid the discomfort of dryness and irritation and have your eyes look clear and focused as you interact with friends and coworkers.
Effects of Dehydration
If our bodies are dehydrated it can cause various problems with your health including negatively impacting your kidney, heart and brain functions. This same dehydration may have a similarly negative impact on your eyes. With improper hydration, our eyes struggle to provide enough tears for natural lubrication. This may lead to dry eye, eye strain or vision problems.
Our eyes need proper lubrication for clear vision and our natural tears keep our eyes moist, they flush out the dirt and dust and reduce the risk of any infection. Symptoms of dry eye include irritation and blurred vision.
Another concern when your eyes are dehydrated is eye strain. This is particularly common when focusing on electronic equipment like iPads, tablets, computers or cell phones because the rate of eye blinking is cut in half when we are concentrating on near tasks. With fewer blinks, the tear film will become unstable and the vision blurred. Blurred vision, headaches, double vision, and eye fatigue are common symptoms of eye strain associated with prolonged reading or use of electronic devices.
Relationship Between Eye Health and Hydration
When we focus on keeping our eyes lubricated and moist, we see improvements in vision and the abovementioned symptoms of dehydration. Here are some things you can do to improve your eye health:
When you focus on one thing (like a computer screen or a windshield while driving) for a prolonged period your eyes will become exposed to the atmosphere for too long and your tear film becomes unstable. Take breaks and blink your eyes to force the glands in the lids to produce more lubricating oils and tears and use drops to lubricate them every two hours.
Drinking plenty of water to keep eyes and skin hydrated will help with your overall health. We should be consuming at least 64 oz of water daily to stay hydrated and allow the body to supply moisture to your eyes. Also, natural tears will cleanse the eyes from dirt and other foreign objects which can cause irritation.
Keep Tear Glands Open
Tear glands located in the eye and on the eyelid bring moisture and lubrication to the eyes. When clogged with oily secretions or closed with eye makeup, dirt or dust, tear glands cannot do their job, and your eyes will suffer. Cleaning your eyes with an eyewash, saline solution or cleansing lid scrub or foam will open these glands to make sure they operate correctly to keep your eyes lubricated.
Avoid Allergic Foods
Dry eye may be due to specific allergies to some foods. These allergies may cause your eyes to become swollen, inflamed and even. Understanding which foods have this effect and avoiding them will ensure your eyes stay moist, fresh and happy.