Water is essential for the body to help maintain hydration including the eyes. Most people do not realize that drinking water is good for the eyes. However, they do notice the side-effects of not drinking plenty of water through dehydration.

How Does Dehydration Occur?

Dehydration can occur for a variety of reasons. When you think about it, there are so many different ways the body loses water. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Caffeine
  • Prescription Medications
  • Excessive Salt Intake
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive Screen Use

In addition to these, the body also loses water through perspiration and sweat.

How Does Dehydration Affect the Eyes?

The eyes rely on water to help keep them lubricated in the form of tears. Lubrication is necessary to keep eyes moist, remove bacteria, and remove dust particles and other small particles that get in the eyes.

When the body is dehydrated, there is not enough water to go around to remain hydrated. The eye will typically dry out. They can become itchy and scratchy. You might have a scratching sensation when you blink like there is something in your eye.

Other related eye symptoms of dehydration could include:

  • Red Eyes
  • Blurred Visions
  • Problems Focusing
  • Burning Sensation in the Eyes
  • Headaches

Can Dehydration Cause Vision Loss?

Most of the time, dehydration just causes blurred vision or problems focusing. So, in a sense, dehydration can cause vision loss. Although, the vision loss is only temporary in many cases as long as you rehydrate your body with plenty of water.

If you experience constant eye dehydration, this can increase the risks of developing cataracts sooner. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye starts to cloud over as proteins in the lens coalesce. As the cataract increases in size, it will cause vision loss and eventually blindness.

Fortunately, laser corrective eye surgery can be performed to remove the cataract. The natural lens is removed and an artificial one is put in its place to restore lost vision.

How Do I Know if My Eyes Are Dehydrated?

Several of the symptoms of eye dehydration can also indicate there is some other problem with your eyes. One thing you can do is think about what beverages you drink. If you drink a lot of coffee, carbonated soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages and not much water, then your eyes are probably dehydrated.

If you eat foods that have high salt content or add a lot of salt to your food, this could also cause eye dehydration. So, what you can do is drink more water and cut out excess salt to see if this helps. Another thing you should do is see your eye doctor just to verify that there is not some other eye problem occurring.

Handsome man drinking a fresh glass of water

How Can I Avoid Dehydrated Eyes?

The easiest way to avoid dehydrated eyes is to adjust your current lifestyle choices, such as:

  • Reduce the number of hours you spend viewing screens, including computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water or more every day.
  • Reduce the amount of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages you drink.
  • Switch to a low-sodium diet.

As seen here, drinking plenty of water can help keep your body and eyes hydrated.

If you have further questions about dry eye, eye strain, or cataracts, please feel free to contact ADV Vision Centers at (805) 987-5300 to schedule a consultation appointment today! We have office locations in Paso Robel, Santa Maria, and San Luis Obispo.