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If you’ve had your partner tell you that you’re not sleeping with your eyes closed all the way or if you wake up feeling like your eyes are completely dried out, you may have a condition called nocturnal lagophthalmos. What does this mean? “Why do I sleep with my eyes slightly open?” you are probably asking yourself. If you’ve ever wondered why this is happening and what you can do to remedy it, this article’s for you!

Why You Sleep with Your Eyes Open

 

There are many possible causes of sleeping with your eyes open. Often, it has something to do with an issue with the muscles or nerves in the face becoming weak or not working at all. This can be a result of the following conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Injury
  • Bell’s palsy
  • A tumor
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (or other autoimmune diseases)
  • Neuromuscular diseases

Some people sleep with their eyes open for no reason. It’s even believed to be a genetic issue in some cases. Talking with your doctor can help rule out any of these conditions or get you on your way towards treatment.

The Problems with Sleeping with Your Eyes Open

 

Sleeping with your eyes open, even if it’s only slightly, can be a minor problem at first, but if it goes on, some more significant issues could be the result. 

You may notice that your vision isn’t as clear or experience pain and redness in your eyes and feel like they are always irritated. Without being moistened adequately by blinking or resting your eyes at night by closing them, your eyes can be easily scratched (even during the night) or damaged and then become infected. You don’t want to ignore the problem when your eyes are at such risk for harm.

How to Stop Sleeping with Your Eyes Open

 

While treating some of the above conditions and diseases can help your eyes close at night while you sleep, there are other options and things you can do to relieve symptoms. These include:

  • Tape your eyes shut using surgical tape
  • Use eye drops to moisten your eyes throughout the day
  • Utilize a humidifier to moisten the air 
  • Look into wearing external eyelid weights to help your eyes closed
  • Surgery

Time to Talk with Your Eye Doctor or Medical Doctor?

 

The most important step you can take if you have a concern about your eye health or overall health and wellbeing is to speak to your doctor. Sometimes other issues need to be addressed that you are unaware of. For example, “Why do I sleep with my eyes slightly open?” may be a red flag that your body is trying to tell you something’s wrong.

At Vision Boutique, our eye specialists are skilled and experienced in helping patients with all kinds of eye conditions. Sleeping with your eyes open is likely not serious and can be managed with the simple solutions mentioned above. Schedule an appointment and eye exam to learn more about healthy vision habits for you and those you love or to address any concerns you may have.

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