Dehydration and Ocular Health
Statistically, the average adult human body is 50 to 65 percent water. When it comes to our vision and eye structure, water is a critical component. Most of the eye is filled with a substance like jelly called the vitreous humour, while the front of the eye is filled with a clear fluid called aqueous humour, which is more watery (humour meaning fluid).
At the Optometrists’ Clinic, we understand that good eye health is a critical element of your total well-being. Our Edmonton optometrist are fully committed to patients of all ages and situations including the latest methods for general ocular health, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic eye care, and more.
Given the importance of water to our life, a lack of it, or dehydration can create a host of health problems, including with your eyes. By definition, dehydration is when more water leaves the body than enters the body. Fluid loss occurs daily through our bodily functions like sweating, urination, and bowel movements. Extreme heat, vomiting, diarrhea, alcohol, and even diabetes increase the risk of dehydration. Severe dehydration can also lead to kidney stones, shock, coma, organ failure, and can even result in death.
Your body’s response to a loss of fluid is to conserve water, which leads to the various symptoms of dehydration including thirst and dry mouth, decreased urine output, muscle cramps, headache, light-headedness, sleepiness, and a lack of tear production.
Tears are necessary for providing clear vision, to wash away foreign matter in the eye, and help reduce the risk of eye infections. This lack of tear production can lead to dry eye, eye strain, and vision problems. Symptoms of dry eyes include irritation, excess watering, blurred vision, and feeling foreign matter in the eye. Tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches and double vision are all symptoms of eye strain. As with dry eye, eye strain caused by dehydration can result when the eye is not properly lubricated.
The best treatment for dry eye is rehydrating by drinking plenty of water - especially before, during, and after exercise. Eye drops can also help alleviate the symptoms by lubricating the eye and washing away foreign materials. Resting the eye by blinking or shutting the eye will also help alleviate eye strain. Other tips for preventing dehydration include removing excess salt from your diet and reducing your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and high-protein foods.
Since 1938, the Optometrists’ Clinic team of Edmonton, Westlock, and Leduc optometrists has helped patients of all ages achieve better vision. If you have question or concerns about your vision, glasses or contacts, then open your eyes to new possibilities by booking your appointment with our caring vision professionals. Call us at Optometrists’ Clinic at 780-488-0944; Capilano Eye Centre at 780-469-2020; Mayfield Eye Centre at 780-486-2020; Leduc Eye Centre at 780-986-2020; and Westlock Eye Centre at 780-349-3702 today.