How does Dehydration affect your eyes?


The lack of water in the body causes what we understand as dehydration. Dehydration can hinder the functioning of your organs and causes a decrease in strength and stamina. Did you know that dehydration can even affect your eyes? Dehydration can have an impact on the tissues around your eyes. Your eyes can feel more sunken, hollow and dry due to dehydration. Read on to know how dehydration can affect your eyes and what you can do to prevent it.

Effects of dehydration on your eyes

Dehydration, caused by the lack of water in your body can happen if the intake of fluids by you is lesser than what the body requires. Sometimes dehydration can also occur due to strenuous activity or being out in the sun for too long. The lack of water in the body causes the tissue layers of the skin to sink. This can cause the area around the eyes to become sunken and pale.

Hydration of the body is also necessary to keep the eyes in optimal condition. The tear glands in our eyes do not only produce tears when we cry. The tear glands keep the surface of the eyes constantly moisturised. Tears also wash away any irritants on the eyes and keep our vision clear. Dehydration affects the tear glands and causes them to dry up. This can lead to dry eyes which causes irritation and difficulty in seeing things clearly.

Signs that your eyes are dehydrated

You can understand if you are dehydrated if you have a dry mouth, weakness and dry lips. There are some symptoms that can help you identify whether your eyes are dehydrated. Here are the most prominent signs of dehydrated eyes:

1. Itchiness of the eyes
2. Burning sensation in the eyes
3. Stinging sensation in the eyes along with redness
4. Increase in mucus
5. Difficulty wearing contact lenses (if you do wear them)
6. Blurry vision or shifting vision

Sometimes dehydration can also be understood if your eyes tear up excessively. Dehydration can signal the tear glands to produce more tears in order to compensate for the lack of hydration otherwise. When the eye gets stressed and dries up, there is an excess production of tears to counter it.

Reasons for eye dehydration

The eyes can become dehydrated due to any of the following reasons:

1. Dehydration of the body can impact the eyes as well. A lack of moisture in the body translates to the tissues around the eyes and the tear glands and causes dehydration.

2. If you wear contact lenses there is a possibility that your eyes can be dehydrated over time. Contact lenses worn for long periods can cause dehydration of the eyes.

3. Putting excessive strain on the eyes with eye extensive activities like being on the computer or reading too much can also dry out the eyes. It is important to take breaks in between work that puts strain on your eyes.

4. Dry weather conditions can also affect your eyes and cause dehydration.

5. There is a chance that certain medications can affect the moisture of your eyes and dry them out.

6. Dry eyes are often caused by diseases or infections of the eye.

How to treat dry eyes?

If you are facing dry eyes then you should consult an ophthalmologist ( eye specialist) to receive adequate treatment. An eye specialist can deduce any underlying reasons for your dry eyes as it is not always caused due to dehydration.

An eye specialist can recommend eye drops to soothe your eyes. For more serious conditions other than dehydration that causes dry eyes, the doctor may even recommend the inclusion of omega-3 fatty acid supplements, which are very beneficial in making the eyes healthier.

Ways in which you can avoid dry eyes

1. Use eye drops throughout the day if you feel your eyes keep getting dehydrated.

2. Staying hydrated throughout the day can help you prevent dry eyes. Drink at least 4 litres of water throughout the day to stay adequately hydrated.

3. If you are engaged in an activity that engages your eye, remember to take breaks from time to time. If you are facing a lot of screen time, take a break eerie 20 minutes and look far into the horizon for at least 20 seconds.

4. If you are going out, wear sunglasses or protective gear to shield your eyes from irritants.

5. Avoid cigarettes and other smoke as they can affect the eyes and dry them out.

6. If you live in a dry area, invest in a humidifier as it can keep the air in your room moist and prevent dry eyes.

7. Rest and sleep well every night. The lack of proper sleep can cause strain on the eyes and cause dry eyes too.

Our eyes are affected by the way we treat the rest of our body. Too much stress or strain on the eyes can lead to dry eyes. Stay hydrated and give your eyes proper rest to avoid any instances of dry eyes. You can also include eye vitamins and omega-3 fatty acid supplements in your diet to hel your eyes  stay strong and prevent dryness. Visit an eye specialist atleast once every six months to monitor the condition of your eyes and prevent any discomfort.