Maybe you’re one of the ten percent who sleep with their eyes open. Perhaps, you’re one of them and not aware of it. You might close your eyes to sleep, only to have them open again while entering deep sleep, which makes you wonder if sleeping with your eyes open is bad for your eyes’ health. The short answer is: yes. Your eyes require a lubrication to stay healthy, and sleeping with your eyes open puts them at risk of drying out.
The consequences may not be as disastrous as going blind, but you can experience some vision problems. Luckily, there are a few solutions for this problem. Keep reading to discover the facts behind sleeping with your eyes open and the answers medical professionals have found to protect your vision health:
HOW DOES SLEEPING WITH EYES OPEN AFFECT MY VISION?
The official term for sleeping with your eyes open is nocturnal lagophthalmos. This condition includes those whose eyes may be open only the slightest bit while sleeping to those who sleep with their eyes fully open. Since the eyes are exposed to the air and unlubricated, you might have dry, itchy, red eyes in the morning.
As we mentioned above, this can be bad for your health too. Moisture on your eyes is used to flush out bacteria and debris. Without lubrication, these foreign bodies can build up, cause irritation, and cause frequent eye infections which can lead to a more serious vision problem. You may also have prolonged blurriness in the morning. Don’t dismiss this as a side-effect of grogginess. It’s a sign you might need to visit your eye doctor.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT SLEEPING WITH MY EYES OPEN?
For mild cases of nocturnal lagophthalmos, the treatment may be as simple as prescription eye drops to use before going to bed and after waking up. It’s also recommended to turn off fans or any direct source of breeze that can cause further drying out while you sleep.
If your nocturnal lagophthalmos condition is more severe, you may be prescribed a gentle, medical-grade tape to use to hold your eyelids shut at night, or a mask designed to protect your eyes and trap moisture. Some severe cases, usually coupled with trouble blinking, may require a surgical implant of a weight in the eyelid to help you blink and keep your eyes shut.
Are you experiencing problems related to sleeping with your eyes open? Do you have other questions about your vision health? Please contact Silverstein Eye Care Centers today at (816) 358-3600 or request your appointment online. We can serve you at our convenient location in Independence/Kansas City.