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Can Dehydration Affect Your Eyes?

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As a critical element of the body, water is needed for various organs to function properly. Dehydration occurs when the body does not get enough fluid and when this happens organs including the eyes suffer....

When more water leaves the body than enters the body, dehydration occurs. Fluid loss occurs in daily bodily functions such as sweating, urination and bowel movements. Vomiting, diarrhea, diabetes and alcohol can also increase the risk of dehydration. When more water leaves the body than enters the body, dehydration occurs.

The body's response to fluid loss is to preserve the amount of fluid still in the body by conserving it. This causes symptoms of dehydration including thirst and dry mouth, muscle cramps, headaches, lightheadedness, sleepiness and a lack of tear production. When the eyes stop producing tears, they are no longer properly lubricated. This can lead to dry eye, eyestrain and vision problems.

When there are not sufficient tears to nourish the eye dry eye occurs. Tears are necessary for providing clear vision because they wash away foreign matter in the eye and help reduce the risk of eye infections. If you are experiencing irritation, excess watering, blurred vision, or have the feeling of a foreign body in the eye, it may be the result of dry eyes from dehydration. Rehydrating by drinking plenty of water is one of the best treatments for dry eyes. Lubricating eye drops can also relieve symptoms by washing away foreign materials.

Eye strain such as tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches and double vision can also be caused by dehydration and result when the eye is not properly lubricated. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out salt in the body and properly hydrate your eyes to help reduce eyestrain.

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help to keep your body properly hydrated. It is important to take in fluids before, during and after exercise to replenish what the body loses through sweating. By keeping your body properly hydrated you are helping all of your organs to work properly, including your eyes!


For many, the beginning of a new year means making resolutions to improve their lives with healthy new habits. Here are six simple eye-healthy resolutions to consider adding to your list. They will help you take care of your eyes and vision and can possibly lower your risk of developing many eye diseases.


Have you had an eye exam over the last year? Whether you are experiencing any eye issues or not you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam soon. An eye doctor can spot signs of other potential health issues by checking your eyes, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and many eye illnesses.


Everybody knows that smoking is bad for your health, but smoking can also lead to vision loss and blindness. Smokers are twice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration and up to three times more likely to develop cataracts compared with nonsmokers.


When it comes to contact lens hygiene, laziness can have severe consequences. The CDC states that 6 in 7 American contact lens wearers admit to at least one risky practice that could cause a serious eye infection.


There are changes you can make in your diet that specifically benefit your vision. A diet rich in essential nutrients can boost your eyes’ health and help reduce the risk of certain eye conditions as you age.


The sun’s UV rays are not just harmful to your skin. UV-A and UV-B rays have also been shown to be major contributing factors in the development of many potentially devastating eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, pterygium and more. Resolve to wear UV-blocking sunglasses whenever you are outside during the day in the new year.


If your job involves many hours of looking at a computer screen, you may have experienced the effects of computer vision syndrome. Eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes are just some of the symptoms that can result from prolonged periods of digital screen use. Resolve to give your eyes some regular relief, by following the 20/ 20/20 rule. Take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Resolve to take care of your vision in 2022 & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Buying Glasses Online May Be No Bargain & May Be Dangerous!

Online shopping touts savings and convenience, but when it comes to making an investment in one’s health, consumers should not leave their eyesight up to a few clicks. Here is why…

  • 44.8% had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues;
  • 29% had at least one lens fail to meet required prescription;
  • 19% of adult lenses failed impact resistance testing; and,
  • 25% of children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing

For more information, please refer to “A Closer Look at Ordering Eyeglasses Online,” a helpful PDF provided by the American Optometric Association (AOA).

Genetic testing for macular degeneration is a powerful tool for managing treatment options.

Please use below for when they click through… Understanding your unique AMD genetic profile could help your doctor guide you to the right supplement options, ensuring you are not harmed by the zinc in most eye supplements. The Macula Risk genetic test provides this information.

Approximately six million people in the U.S. take an AREDS or AREDS2-based formulation.

Current research indicates that approximately 900,000 people taking the AREDS formulation are at risk for supplement-induced vision loss. Learn more about Macula Risk® here… And schedule your appointment with Plymouth Family Optometry today.

Want To Prevent Serious Eyesight Problems? “Go play outside!” 

Increased screen time from cell phones, gaming, social media, and digital entertainment has resulted in a rise in sedentary behavior, poor diet, and lack of outdoor time. It’s not just the screen time that is the problem. It’s the lack of outdoor activities. Experts have been studying the effects of our environment when it comes to our eyesight, particularly the outdoors.

When a child has two nearsighted parents and does not spend enough time outside, the genetic risk increases by 60% one study revealed. This suggests that our environment plays a role in the development of this vision disorder as well as genetics.

When spending time outdoors you are forced to look further into the distance. Outdoor lighting is vital because it slows the axial growth of the eyes. Myopia is thought to occur when there is excessive growth.

Participating in activities like walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, snow-shoeing, skiing, all outdoor activities, and sports are good to preserve eye health year-round. It is recommended everyone wear sunglasses, even toddlers, while outdoors, to protect their eyes from ultraviolet rays. The benefits of outdoor light are preserved even with sunglasses.

Tips to counter the negative effects of using screens on eye health:

  • Encourage outside activities as often as possible.
  • Have children’s eyes examined by an optometrist by the age of 6-9 months, 2-5 years, and annually 6-19 years.
  • Zero exposure to screens for children 0-2 years.
  • Limit the use of screens to 1 hour per day until the age of 9 years.
  • Breaks no later than after 60 minutes of use (after 30 minutes is encouraged)

At the root of this problem are screens such as tablets and cell phones that play a role in the deterioration of children’s eye health.

eSight for Low Vision

The most versatile low vision device

eSight is used daily by thousands of people with over 20 different serious eye conditions causing visual acuity from 20/60 to 20/800, and in some cases up to 20/1400.

The New Standard for Vision Technology

Extensive research and purpose-driven custom design sets eSight apart. Beyond sight, eSight is built for life. Combining leading-edge proprietary hardware and software, eSight 4 empowers people living with visual impairment with best visual acuity, unmatched mobility, and ease of use.

How does eSight work?

eSight’s low vision aid provides a non-invasive, non-surgical solution that works by stimulating synaptic activity from the remaining photoreceptor function in the user’s eyes to provide increased visual information to the brain. The streamlined design incorporates the patient’s natural peripheral vision and includes patented Bioptic Tilt: tilt down for maximum enhanced vision and up to connect face to face or to access their natural vision when navigating new places.

How eSight can benefit low vision patients

From seeing the faces of loved ones and advancing in all levels of schools and work, to resuming hobbies as diverse as cooking, gardening, golf, and travel, eSight dramatically improves the quality of life for low vision patients allowing them to do all the things that sighted people take for granted. Learn More By Watching This Video…

Improve Your Vision With Diet

Taking care of your eyes can taste good. Improve your vision with diet. Zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, zeaxanthin and lutein have been linked to reducing the risk of some serious eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Consuming these in your diet can improve your vision and eye heath overall.


Zinc…Brings vitamin A to the retina, helping to produce protective pigment in the eyes. Best sources include red meat, shellfish, nuts and seeds.

Fatty Acids…Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for proper visual development and retinal function. Best source include coldwater fish, flaxseed, soybean and canola oils, avocados, and almonds.

Vitamin E…Free radical protection. Best sources include oils, nuts, wheat germ, and sweet potato. Vitamin C…Lowers risk of cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and visual acuity loss. Best sources include oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, green peppers, and tomatoes.

Zeaxanthin and Lutein…Lowers risk of chronic eye diseases. In different studies, people who got the most of these two nutrients had a lower risk of developing new cataracts. Dark green, leafy vegetables are the primary source of zeaxanthin and lutein, as well as other colorful fruits and vegetables like broccoli, corn, peas, persimmons and tangerines.

Enjoy eating with your eyes in mind!

15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effects on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that could pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments, or particles (woodworking, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

At Plymouth Family Optometry, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision.

The Best Foods for Your Eyes

We all know that eating nutrient-rich foods, drinking plenty of water, and exercising can boost our health. So it’s no surprise that these same activities also support eye health. Research has shown that regularly consuming certain vitamins and nutrients can actually prevent or delay sight-threatening eye conditions and diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Here’s a list of the best vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

We invite you to consult with our eye doctor, Dr. Ryan Racette, to discuss which nutrients are most suited to your specific eye health and needs.

Vitamins and Nutrients That Support Eye Health

*Always best to speak with your primary care doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements, and to ensure you consume the correct dosage for your body.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can cause a host of eye health issues, including dry eyes and night blindness. In fact, vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Vitamins A and A1, which are essential for supporting the eye’s photoreceptors (the light-sensing cells) in the retina, can be found in foods like carrots, leafy greens, egg yolks, liver, and fish.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eating Omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish can support eye health in a few ways. DHA and EPA, 2 different types of Omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to improve retinal function and visual development.

Omega-3 supplements can also ease dry eye symptoms. A randomized controlled study found that people who consumed Omega-3 supplements experienced improved tear quality, which resulted in reduced tear evaporation and increased eye comfort.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that accumulate in the lens and retina and help filter out damaging UV rays and blue light. One study showed that individuals who had the highest levels of these nutrients in their diets had a 43% lower chance of developing macular degeneration than those who had consumed the least amount.

Spinach, egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes are some of the foods that contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Vitamin C

High amounts of vitamin C can be found in the aqueous humor of the eye, the liquid that fills the eye’s anterior chamber and supports corneal integrity. This has prompted scientists to consider this vitamin’s role in protecting eye health.

Research suggests that regularly taking vitamin C (along with other essential vitamins and minerals) can lower the risk of developing cataracts, and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.

While vitamin C appears to support eye health in a variety of ways, it’s still unclear whether taking this supplement benefits those who aren’t deficient. Vitamin C can be found in various fruits and vegetables, like bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, and kale.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect fatty acids from becoming oxidized. Because the retina has a high concentration of fatty acids, sufficient vitamin E intake is crucial for optimal ocular health.

Vitamin E can be found in almonds, flaxseed oil, and sunflower seeds.


Healthy eyes naturally contain high levels of zinc. A zinc deficiency can cause night blindness, and thus increasing zinc intake can improve night vision. Zinc also helps absorb Vitamin A, an essential antioxidant.

Make sure to avoid taking high doses of zinc (beyond 100 mg daily) without first consulting your eye doctor. Higher doses of zinc have been associated with side effects such as reduced immune function. You can increase your zinc intake naturally by consuming more oysters, meat, and peanuts.

Phytochemical Antioxidants

Phytochemical antioxidants are chemicals produced by plants that contain several health benefits. Some studies show that these plant-based chemicals may enhance vision and eye health as well as prevent age-related eye diseases and complications by alleviating ocular oxidative stress. Oxidative stress within the eyes contributes to several eye conditions, including dry eye syndrome. Consuming more produce with these antioxidants can help balance the anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant system, resulting in healthier eyes.

Personalized Eye Nutrition

If you or someone you know is looking for ways to boost or maintain eye health, speak with an optometrist near you about what supplements and vitamins are best for you. For an eye doctor in Plymouth, give us a call at 774-283-4005.