How Dehydration Affects Eye Health

When you don’t drink enough fluids, dehydration occurs. This simple problem can lead to long-lasting health problems and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Drinking enough water every day should be a primary goal for all health-minded individuals. Dehydration doesn’t just affect your kidneys and cause other commonly associated problems; it can also harm your eyes. Drinking water is a key part to eye health.

Dry Eye

When you aren’t getting enough water or are losing too much water due to heat or overexertion, your body starts preserving the fluid. Your eyes and tears are one of the first things to go. This causes dry eye. Dry eyes aren’t a problem just because they are irritating. Your tears and lubrication are essential to maintaining good eye health.

Tears and eye moisture clean your eyes and prevent infection. Prolonged dry eyes can cause permanent damage if they become infected or physical damage occurs from debris. If your eyes are dry, drink plenty of water to rehydrate and use eye drops to relieve your problems in the short term.

Vision Problems

By not drinking enough water and having dehydrated eyes, the strain on your eyes will be greatly increased. Eye strain can cause headaches, pain, and vision issues. These vision issues include: double vision, blurring, and sensitivity to light. In the long term, eye strain can cause long lasting damage to your vision, which is something everyone wants to avoid. Drinking more water to ensure your eyes are working in the best possible conditions is essential to maintaining your eye health.

Eye Pressure

Your eyes are filled with fluid, so it’s no surprise that dehydration affects these fluids. Being dehydrated can increase the fluid pressure in your eyes, which is a potential blindness-inducing problem called glaucoma. If you are prone to glaucoma, which usually happens to older individuals, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. Five cups of water a day is the average minimum recommended by professionals, but you should ideally aim for eight.

Swelling of the Eyes

The skin around your eyes and the eyes themselves may become inflamed when you aren’t getting enough water throughout the day. This may seem only like an aesthetic problem, but prolonged inflammation can be damaging. Redness and soreness are common indications, other than just visual cues. Dry eyes will become irritated and if foreign bodies aren’t being cleansed by water, then an allergic reaction, which is a kind of inflammation, can easily occur.

Corneal Edema

While dehydration alone most likely won’t cause corneal edema, it is a contributing factor. This condition is when the cornea, which is a dry and clear membrane which regulates the light entering your pupil, begins retaining water. When your cornea becomes damage and is no longer able to clean itself this condition can occur. Dehydration makes it difficult for your eyes to clean themselves, which in this case can lead to long term damage and necessitate surgery.

If you have long term eye pain, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and distorted vision, consulting a physician is a must. Corneal edema can be one cause for these problems, while other serious conditions such as glaucoma can also be the root cause. Both of these issues are affected by hydration, so to stave them off drink enough water every single day.


All of these issues can have long lasting effects on your vision. While prevention is the best when it comes to hydration and eye health, corrective procedures can remedy your vision problems if it comes to that. LASIK is an excellent way to restore your vision to its highest potential. Contact Advanced Eye Medical today for a consultation.