Why staying hydrated is so important for your eyes

Jul 19, 2019 in Eye Care

As the weather gets warmer it’s important to stay hydrated. But sipping those extra glasses of water has added benefits you might not know about.

The human body is made up of 70% water, and while most of us associate dehydration with feelings of thirst, dry mouth, lips and possibly dizziness, it can also affect your eyes. Guidelines from the Food Standards Agency recommend we drink 6-8 glasses of water a day – more if the weather is hot or you’re exercising.

Dehydration brings other risks too: you could end up with dry, sore and irritated eyes.

What is dry eye disease?

Dry eye syndrome, more recently renamed dry eye disease falls into two categories:

1. Aqueous deficiency dry eye - this is where we don't produce enough liquid. 2. Evaporative dry eye - this is where the tears do not stay on the eye long enough because they evaporate too quickly.

Although it can affect anyone it tends to be more common with age – around 33% of over 65s experience problems with dry eyes.

However, with computer screens now a big part of our lives, we could all be at greater risk of developing dry eyes and digital eye strain. This is because we blink far less often when concentrating on a screen, so our eyes are lubricated less often. If you find your eyes feeling frequently itchy or dry, or like there’s grit in them, you could have dry eyes.

How can you avoid it?

A key way to avoid dry eye disease is to stay hydrated, so keeping up with fluids in the summer is extremely beneficial to our eyes. And when it comes to digital dry eye remember the 20/20/20 rule when working at a computer: every 20 minutes look away from the screen and focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

If you have dry eyes, your optician should be able to provide further eye care advice, which might include using artificial tear drops to hydrate and protect the surface of the eye.

Book your eye test today

If you’re concerned about dry eye disease, call us to book an eye test on 0800 40 20 20, book online or pop into your local Leightons branch.