Healthy Living A to Z: D

Dehydration

You become dehydrated when your fluid output exceeds your input. The effects of mild dehydration are easily fixable- drink some water. However, if you or someone you know is severely dehydrated (see below for symptoms), they may require immediate attention. Always keep an eye on your water intake, and make sure you drink slightly more than eight 8oz. glasses of water a day.

Symptoms of dehydration:

MILD TO MODERATE DEHYDRATION SEVERE DEHYDRATION
Dry, sticky mouth Extreme thirst
Sleepiness or tiredness Irritability and confusion
Dry skin Sunken eyes
Headache Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it
Constipation Low blood pressure
Dizziness or lightheadedness Rapid heartbeat and breathing
Few or no tears when crying Fever
Minimal urine No tears when crying
 Dry, cool skin3 In serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Muscle cramps Little or no urination, and any urine color that is darker than usual
Dry Eyes

How can we prevent this scratchy foe?

  • Remember to blink often and takes breaks when reading and especially when working with a computer
  • Rest with a warm compress or wash cloth over your eyes to melt semi-solid secretions blocking your tear glands.
  • Eat Fish
  • Make sure you close your eyes all the way when blinking.
  • Use a humidifier in the winter
  • Artificial Tears- thin liquid drops for short term relief and thicker gels for long term (aka before bedtime). Avoid “red eye reducing” drops, as they often contain decongestants that will dry your eyes out even more.

 

Sources: 

http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/dry-eye-tips.cfm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/definition/con-20030056

http://articles.mercola.com/dehydration-symptoms.aspx

 

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