Feel like skipping out on your fluid intake today? You might want to think again. Considering that we rely heavily on our eyes to perform even the most basic of functions in our daily lives, it’s important to look at the relationship between the amount of water you drink in a day and how clearly you can see. Up to 60% of the adult human body is made up of water, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that lacking proper hydration can affect the eye’s function. While there are tons of benefits to drinking enough water each day, learn more about the specific benefits to your overall eye health.
Function of the eye
We all know that the eyes help us see, but what exactly does that mean? The eye is considered a main organ of the visual system, consisting of seven separate parts. The 7 parts of the eye include the sclera, the cornea, anterior and posterior chambers, iris and pupil, lens, vitreous humor, and the retina. The sclera is the white part of the eye you can see, the anterior and posterior chambers are the areas between the cornea and iris and iris to the lens. The iris is the colored, circular portion of the eye while the pupil is the black whole in the middle. The lens is the transparent layerings of the eye and the vitreous humor is the space between the lens and retina.
The eyes, specifically the retina, are able to take light and turn it into electrical signals, which the brain then uses to translate into the images that we are continuously seeing and what we perceive. The cornea acts as the protective outer layer and is the part of the eye that needs tears in order to help keep the eyes properly lubricated, as well as help keep out any foreign objects that would lend the eye to infections or irritation.
So why is hydration important?
As previously mentioned, tears serve many functions to help protect the eye. Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren’t properly lubricated. Dry eye symptoms are often uncomfortable, and lead to issues such as blurred vision, redness, inflammation, and other general symptoms of discomfort. The eye is considered an organ, so this means that if your body isn’t getting enough fluids for the amount that it is losing, dehydration can occur. Tears are what helps lubricate and keep the eyes moisturized, therefore if you are dehydrated your body may not be able to produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist.
The basic components of tears include water, electrolytes, proteins, lipids, and mucins. Therefore, proper hydration is an essential part of keeping the eyes healthy and strong as an organ, but to also help fight dryness and upkeep tear production.
A great way to incorporate mindful eye protection in your daily routine is to take an electrolyte supplement, such as Ultima Replenisher. This not only makes getting your water intake more tasty and convenient, but this product also contains potassium.
Why does that matter? Studies have shown that potassium is an important component that comprises tear film and is also a factor in corneal health. As low potassium levels have been linked to dry eyes, an electrolyte supplement also containing potassium would be an optimal way to replenish both your eyes and entire body. Electrolyte supplementation is a great way to replenish in situations where the body is losing liquid at higher rates than normal, such as a high intensity workout or longer duration exercise.
Other factors of dry eyes
Although hydration certainly plays a part in how dry your eyes are, remember that there are a few other factors that contribute to and influence the moisture levels in your eyes too. Some of these factors, both internal and external, include things like:
- Lack of sleep
- Air quality
- Vitamin deficiency
- Certain medications
- Certain medical conditions
To help manage some of these symptoms, there are a few other measures that you can take in addition to consuming adequate amounts of liquid to help alleviate dry eyes:
- Switch contact brands: If you are a contacts wearer, it’s important to consider the type of contact lenses you use. Dry eyes can actually be a result of a specific brand, certain materials used in the lenses, or the length of time in which you wear the lenses. Consult your doctor if you are noticing new or ongoing irritation and sensitivity, as special hydrating lenses and shorter-term wear options are available to specifically help with dryness.
- Invest in a humidifier: One way to help alleviate dry eyes can also be to look into using a humidifier, especially if you are wanting a solution that does not involve putting something directly into your eye. The humidifier works to increase moisture in the air, which can also help eyes feel more comfortable and support air quality.
- Get eye drops: For a quick and easy fix on the go, purchasing eyedrops to carry with you is another way to artificially lubricate your eyes. There are several types of eye drops, so it’s important to select the correct kind for your particular needs and always only use the recommended amount.
Hydration, along with several other functions of the body, is a key component in your eye health. Dry eyes are something that can often be avoided when taking the correct measures, specifically staying mindful of your daily liquid intake. Need some motivation? For more hydration tips, information, and products, check out Ultima’s full range of products here!
photo credit: Amanda Dalbjorn from Upsplash