Keeping your body hydrated is essential for your good health, but hydration is equally important for your eyes. Without adequate moisture, your eyes become dry and uncomfortable. Understanding how hydration problems occur can help you prevent dry eye, one of the most common types of eye problems.
What do tears do?
Tears do not just appear when you cry. They constantly bathe your eyes in moisture, wash away debris, and help prevent bacteria from causing infections. Your tears actually consist of three layers: an outer oily layer, a middle watery layer, and an inner layer that contains mucus. Because your tears help light enter your eye easily, blurred vision can occur if your eyes become dry. If the condition is severe, dry eyes may even cause ulcers on your cornea, the clear layer of your eye that covers your iris.
How Dehydration Affects Your Body
Poor hydration causes dry eyes, a common condition that affects most of us at some point in our lives. Dry eye can be temporary or chronic. If you have dry eye, you may notice:
Burning, stinging or irritated eyes
Blurred vision or vision that fluctuates
A scratchy feeling in your eyes
An increase in mucus
Some of the overall health benefits of proper hydration include:
1. Improvement of dry eye symptoms
A recent study suggested that increased hydration led to “multiple ocular benefits” in subjects tested. It also suggested dry eye improvements. Although there are several other options for dealing with dry eye, increasing water intake is a good place to start, especially if you’re taking medications that increase risk of dry eye.
2. May help with tension headaches
Headaches have always been linked to dehydration. They’re also symptoms of digital eye strain. The combination of dehydration and digital eye strain may cause several unwanted problems, but regardless of how headaches come about, it’s a good idea to rehydrate when dealing with them.
3. Hydration helps with end of day eye fatigue
Overall fatigue usually starts set in towards the end of the day, regardless of your profession. The combination of body fatigue and eye fatigue (from computer screen and smartphone use) could indeed be troublesome. Increasing water intake over the course of the day helps to combat those tired feelings. It’s also a good idea to take breaks from near work to improve eye comfortability.
4. Stimulates an active lifestyle
Contrary to what your favorite energy drink commercial may imply, water is the best hydration for an active lifestyle. When our body sweats, it sweats water. A very large percentage of our body is made of water (not sugar) and all of our organs require the right amount of water for optimum performance. That said, it’s best to give our bodies water because that’s what it actually wants.
5. Promotes better skin
Our skin can’t get rid of toxins quick enough without enough water. If we’re dehydrated, our skin can become irritated, which may result in all sorts of ailments from itching and scratching to redness and all out acne (or even worse).
Keeping Your Eyes Healthy
In addition to making sure you stay hydrated, take other measures to keep your eyes and your vision healthy. The first of which is to make sure you’re getting your eyes examined on a regular basis.