glass of water in woman's hand with her white t-shirt and blond hair in the background

Can Dehydration Cause Dry Eyes?

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We’ve all heard that our bodies are mostly water. But what does that mean for your eyes?

Like all the other organs in your body, your eyes need water to stay healthy. Water helps your tear glands produce a healthy volume of tears, nourish the eyes, and prevent dryness.

Lack of water can make your eyes dry, affecting both visual function and comfort.

In this post, we explain why your eyes need water, discover the symptoms of dehydrated eyes, and see how you can treat them.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Why Do Your Eyes Need Water?

Research shows that dehydration and dry eyes are linked. Your tear film is mostly composed of water. The watery layer of the tear film helps nourish the eyes, provide clear vision, wash away foreign bodies, and reduce the risk of eye infection.

That means that if your body is dehydrated, your tear film may be affected. This will lead to dry and dehydrated eyes. You will have a scratchy feeling in your eyes along with redness and pain.

But don’t worry. There are ways to treat dehydrated eyes. Drinking plenty of water comes first. Other treatment measures include eating water-rich foods, avoiding caffeine, and using home remedies.

Symptoms of Dehydrated Eyes

Dehydrated eyes come with all the usual symptoms of dry eye syndrome. You will have dry, sandy eyes that are sensitive to light. Here are all the symptoms you may experience:

  • Excessive dryness
  • Eye irritation
  • Redness, pain, and inflammation of the eye
  • Stinging or burning sensations
  • Blurry vision and difficulties focusing
  • Sandy feeling in the eye
  • Change in vision
  • Difficulty doing detailed work like painting, reading, or embroidering
  • Stringy mucus around the eyes
  • Excessive tearing as a response to dryness
  • Sensitivity to wind
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Eye strain and occasional headaches

Tips to Keep Your Eyes Hydrated

You can treat dehydrated eyes internally with adequate hydration and the right nutrition. Externally, you can treat them with eye drops and ointments, warm compresses, punctal plugs, and more.

1. Drink Water Regularly

The best strategy to manage dry eyes due to dehydration is drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will help your body produce healthy, stable tears that don’t evaporate quickly.

small glass of water on white gray background

Aim for at least 8 to 10 glasses of water during the day. Also, have water before, during, and after a workout to replenish what your body loses through sweating.

2. Eat Water-Rich Foods

Eating water-rich foods can also alleviate symptoms of dry eyes. Include fruits and veggies like watermelon, strawberries, and cantaloupe in your diet to meet your hydration needs.

Your general diet also plays a role in your eye health. Vitamins and minerals like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, lutein, and zeaxanthin can help relieve symptoms of eye dryness.

3. Take an Eye Health Supplement

A busy schedule and plenty of hours in front of screens can easily deplete your eyes of nutrients. Without leaving you enough time or the opportunity to prepare healthy, balanced meals.

That doesn’t mean you should neglect your eyes, though. Taking in the right nutrients for dry eyes becomes easier with an eye health supplement.

The Blueberry Gummies from Sightsage replenish eye nutrients and support your vision in the digital age. Made with Canadian blueberries, they are loaded with antioxidants.

Blueberries, the key ingredient in the gummies, have anti-inflammatory properties, protect the retina from free radicals, and can ward off diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases that can affect eyesight.

And since Blueberry Gummies are sweetened with Monk fruit, they have zero calories. You can easily add them to a diabetes-friendly diet, or any diet for that matter.

Make your eyes happy. Taste Blueberry Gummies.

4. Avoid Caffeine

Foods and beverages containing caffeine can give you an instant energy boost. But they can be dehydrating for your eyes. You may experience eye inflammation, redness, grittiness, and even excessive watering as a result.

So, make sure to avoid having too much coffee, tea, or energy drinks if you’re struggling with dry eyes dehydration. Instead, opt for caffeine alternatives like herbal and flower teas, golden milk, and lemon water.

5. Apply Eye Drops and Ointments

You can also treat dehydrated eyes with eye drops and ointments. Both are topical forms of medication used to lubricate the surface of your eyes. But remember, they will not cure the underlying cause of dryness.

Besides lubricating your eyes, eye drops and ointments also promote healing of the eyes. They reduce eye inflammation and redness, decrease tear evaporation, and keep your eyes hydrated for longer periods.

6. Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses do more than just protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They keep the wind from drying out your eyes and ensure better hydration. They also improve tear film stability. Plus, your eye will feel more comfortable without needing eye drops.

man with short black beard wearing sunglasses and white hat against a background of blue steps

So, make sure to put on sunglasses when you’re outside. You can also wear them while driving a motorbike, bicycle, or convertible to reduce wind exposure.

7. Blink More

Blinking helps moisten the surface of your eyes and prevent excessive dryness. If you blink less than normal, your eyes can dry out and get blurry. This is especially the case when you work on a computer and other digital devices.

To improve your dry eyes, remind yourself to blink often. You can stick a “Blink” note in front of your desk. Another simple way is to follow the 20-20 rule: close your eyes for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Soon, you’ll see an improvement in eye dehydration and blurred vision.

Tip: You can also limit your screen time to effectively combat dry eye symptoms.

8. Apply a Warm Compress and Massage

Another effective way to combat eye dehydration is applying a warm washcloth to your eyes, shows a clinical trial. This has many benefits: the heat will improve your oil gland function, stabilize the tear film, and slow down tear evaporation.

Massaging the areas around your eyes is equally beneficial. Gently apply pressure to your eyelids and corners of your eyes to stimulate your tear glands and increase blood circulation.

9. Use Punctal Plugs

Punctal plugs are tiny silicone plugs that can help treat dry and dehydrated eyes. They block the tear ducts, keeping your tears from draining away. As a result, the surface of your eyes feels well lubricated all day.

Your eye doctor may recommend using punctal plugs as a severe dry eye treatment. Usually, they are temporary and dissolve on their own after a few months. But you may also require semi-permanent plugs that are designed to stay in your eye for years.

10. Get a Humidifier

Sometimes, low humidity in the air can make your eyes feel dehydrated. Your tears may evaporate too quickly, causing eye pain, itchiness, and irritation. The symptoms get especially worse in the mornings.

A humidifier can tackle this issue. It will add moisture to the air, reducing dehydrated eye symptoms.

11. Make Some Lifestyle Changes

Your everyday habits can effectively tackle the issue of eye dryness. Start by exercising regularly, focusing on a healthy diet, and taking in enough fluids during the day.

woman running on trail in the woods into twilight glow

Avoid the overuse of contact lenses, remove your makeup before bedtime, and keep away from hair dryers. Finally, quit smoking and see the positive impact on your overall eye health.

The Wrap Up

Dry and dehydrated eyes can make even simple tasks difficult. You may have a hard time working on a computer, driving, or reading. Not to mention the constant irritated and watery eyes.

But you can effectively manage dehydrated eyes. Start by drinking plenty of water and having water-rich foods. Try to avoid caffeine and smoke. You can also apply eye drops, wear sunglasses, and get a humidifier.

Don’t forget about an eye health supplement like Blueberry Gummies. It can make a big difference!

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