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|
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.