Many people suffer from dry eyes, which can be extremely irritating and uncomfortable and affect people's everyday lives, but what many do not realise is that the condition is avoidable.
The main reason why people suffer from dryness, both of the eyes and other parts of the body, is that they are not taking on enough fluids during the day.
Plenty of people cite the plainness of water as a reason for not drinking more of it, but this could be set to change after the release of a new study which claims that other methods of taking in fluids could be just as effective as drinking water.
According to the research, drinking four to six mugs of tea a day is just as good as drinking a litre of water when it comes to keeping the body hydrated, and has no negative health effects.
Water accounts for 50-75 per cent of human body weight, depending on the person’s age and gender, and has many important roles in the body aside from keeping the eyes moist, including regulating body temperature, lubricating the lungs and skin, controlling blood pressure, and transporting nutrients, oxygen and waste.
Even mild dehydration can have a negative effect on health, including mental and physical health, and anyone can become mildly dehydrated once voluntary fluid intake fails to meet individual needs due to busy working lives, travel and a lack of suitable beverages.
It is often claimed in the media that caffeinated drinks such as tea can adversely affect hydration and that people should ask for a glass of water to drink with their tea and coffee in restaurants, but research conducted by Dr Carrie Ruxton contests this assumption.
Her study found that a single large intake of caffeine (250-500mg) was found to cause mild dehydration, but caffeine intakes of 38-400mg spread throughout the day are well tolerated.
According to the expert, this equates to a daily maximum of eight cups of tea or four cups of brewed coffee, as one cup of tea contains approximately 50mg of caffeine, while one cup of coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine.
Commenting on the study, she noted: "It's vital that everyone keeps their fluid levels topped up to avoid dehydration - proper hydration is key to good mental and physical health. Tea drinkers can be reassured that their favourite cuppa does count towards their fluid intake without the risk of dehydration."