Why do some people sleep with their eyes open?

Image: www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/man-suffering-sleeplessness-lying-open-eyes-258931778

People usually sleep with their eyes open because of a problem with the facial muscles, nerves, or the skin around the eyelids. This condition is known as nocturnal lagophthalmos. One or both eyes can be affected. Many people who sleep with their eyes open don’t realize it. People who sleep with their eyes open usually find out by being told by someone else, mentioning that your eyelids don’t fully shut when you sleep or that you sleep with one eye open, or you may find yourself waking up with dry irritated eyes. Others may experience symptoms like:

  • Dry or gritty feeling eyes
  • Irritation or burning
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Nocturnal lagophthalmos can have many causes including:

  • Faulty eyelid mechanics
  • Stroke
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Blepharoplasty (Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery)
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Head or facial trauma injury
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Use of alcohol and/or sleeping pills

Over time Nocturnal lagophthalmos can lead to health problems. Aside from normal fatigue, grumpiness, and brain fog. The longer a person goes on sleeping poorly, the mental effects become more serious:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling down
  • Risk of injury and accidents at home, at work, or on the road

If it persists even longer, general health will start to deteriorate:

  • High blood pressure
  • Lower immunity
  • Diabetes
  • Clinical depression
  • Heart disease
  • Lower sex drive
  • Decreased fertility

If nighttime lagophthalmos is suspected talk to your doctor to try to find the cause. Sometimes treatment will be lifestyle changes. Sometimes treatment methods are as simple as using devices to shut your eyelids at night, such as eyelid tape or weights, other treatments are more extreme such as surgery.













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