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Can Dehydration Cause Dry Eyes? Know the Link

Gina Walters


can dehydration cause dry eyes

Dry eyes and dehydration are two health concerns that individuals may experience. 

Dry eye is an ocular condition caused by low tear production or increased tear evaporation. Dehydration is a condition that occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. 

But is there a link between dehydration and dry eyes? Can dehydration cause dry eyes?

This article explores the possible connection between dry eyes and dehydration to determine prevention methods.

Can dehydration cause dry eyes

Dehydration mainly affects the body’s fluid balance but can indirectly contribute to dry eyes.

Dry eyes occur when there is a lack of tear production or when tears evaporate too rapidly. It can lead to discomfort, irritation, and, in some cases, visual

Dehydration affects various bodily functions, including tear production. 

The body directs available fluids to essential organs when it is dehydrated. Thus, it could lead to a lack of moisture supply in the eye.

As a result, individuals may experience dryness and discomfort in their eyes.

Recommended read: Do you want to know why you are suffering from dry eyes? Check out — Common Dry Eye Causes and Effects

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Symptoms of dry eyes caused by dehydration

Blurry-visionSource: piotr_malczyk
Blurry vision(Symptom)

Dry eyes due to dehydration can occur with various symptoms. 

These symptoms suggest a lack of eye moisture, which could cause discomfort and potentially affect vision. 

Here are some commonly observed symptoms of dry eyes from dehydration:

Persistent dryness: Dehydration can cause persistent dry and itchy eyes. You may experience constant grittiness in the eye.

Burning sensation: Individuals may experience a burning or stinging sensation in their eyes due to dehydration.

Redness: Dry eyes caused by dehydration can lead to red eyes, indicating irritation.

Blurred vision: In severe cases, dry eyes may affect vision clarity.

Sensitivity to light: You may feel sensitive to bright lights if you have dry eyes.

The effects mentioned above may simultaneously occur with symptoms of dehydration, including:

  • Feeling thirsty 
  • Fatigue
  • Dry lips or mouth
  • Dark yellow urine with a strong odor
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness

Learn about dry skin around the eyes another symptom of Dry Eyes with our article: Understanding and Treating Dry Skin Around Eyes

Did you know?
In some cases, the eyes may produce excess tears as a response to dryness.
According to Penn Medicine, this could lead to tearing and watery eyes despite the underlying dry eye issue.

How to prevent dry eyes from dehydration

a man drinking water
Stay hydrated

Preventing dry eyes caused by dehydration involves ensuring adequate hydration and taking proactive measures to promote eye health. 

Here are some practical tips to help prevent dry eyes:

Stay hydrated: Ensure you’re drinking sufficient water regularly. The European Journal of Nutrition (EJN) suggests consuming 2.5L to 3.5L of water per day.

Balanced diet: It is essential to consume foods rich in water content, such as vegetables and fruits. These foods help prevent dehydration and protect eye health.

Limit caffeine and alcohol: Alcohol and caffeine intake can lead to dehydration. It is important to consume these substances in moderation to prevent dry eyes.

Blink regularly: You must consciously try to blink often, especially during prolonged screen time.

Use a humidifier: A humidifier can help maintain moisture levels in the air, especially in dry environments. Using a humidifier can prevent eye dryness.

Consider eye drops: Lubricating eye drops can temporarily relieve dry eye symptoms. Consult a doctor before using dry eye medicines.

What is the best way to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes? Find out in our recommended article —- Effective Dry Eye Treatment: Relieve Irritation and Improve Eye Health

Severe dry eyes may require specialized treatments like prescription eye drops or interventions. Delaying treatment may limit the effectiveness of these options.

The takeaway

Individuals who frequently experience dry eyes may be curious about what causes it. “Can dehydration cause dry eyes?” is a common query.

While dehydration mainly affects the fluid balance in the body, it can indirectly lead to dry eyes. However, it is essential to note that they are separate conditions with different causes. 

It is essential to stay hydrated as it is crucial for overall well-being, including eye health. 

If you’re experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms, seeking medical advice is recommended.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can drinking more water cure dry eyes?

Drinking more water can help relieve dry eyes caused by dehydration. Proper hydration promotes tear production but may not be the sole cure. 
Consult an eye care professional for comprehensive treatment.

Can lack of water cause dry eyes?

A lack of water can indirectly cause dry eyes due to dehydration. Inadequate hydration can affect tear production and quality, leading to dryness and eye discomfort.

Does dehydration affect dry eyes?

Yes, dehydration can affect dry eyes. Dehydration redirects fluids from less critical areas, leading to inadequate moisture in the eyes, which results in dry eyes.

How do you tell if you’re dehydrated by your eyes?

The signs of dehydration can be observed through the eyes if you experience dryness, burning, redness, and light sensitivity. Excessive tearing can also be caused by dehydration.

How can I hydrate my dry eyes?

Drink enough water daily to hydrate dry eyes. Eat water-rich foods and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Use a humidifier and lubricating eye drops for relief in dry environments. 
Consult an eye care professional if symptoms persist.

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