Sleeping With Your Eyes Open, Is It Possible?

Sleeping with your eyes open is caused by a problem in the nerves or muscles of the face so that it is difficult to keep the eyes completely closed.

Table of Content

1. Signs of sleeping with eyes open
2. Causes of sleeping with open eyes
3. When should you go to the doctor?
4. Management of nocturnal lagophthalmos

Although rare, apparently there are people who sleep with their eyes open. According To Doctor Eye Health Sleeping with Eyes Open – Dry Eye Treatments for Lagophthalmos

Medically, this condition is called nocturnal lagophthalmos. Generally, the trigger is a problem in the nerves or muscles of the face so it is difficult to keep the eyes completely closed completely.

Of course, people who do it are not aware of this habit unless someone tells them. One of the symptoms is when you wake up with dry eyes and feel complaints such as redness, pain, and blurred vision.

Signs of sleeping with eyes open

Interestingly, research in the International Journal of Gerontology notes that this condition nocturnal lagophthalmos can occur in 5-50% of the human population. Adults experience it more commonly than children.

The easiest way to determine whether you sleep with your eyes open or not is to ask someone else. In addition, recognize signs of nocturnal lagophthalmos upon awakening such as:

  • Eyes hurt
  • Feeling something is stuck in the eye
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Red eye
  • Sensitive to light
  • Burning sensation in the eyes

In people who sleep with their eyes open, the above symptoms are most severe in the morning when they wake up. Then, the symptoms slowly improve during the day.

This happens because closing your eyes while sleeping will keep the condition moist while protecting the surface of the eye. Not only that, the eyelids also help close the incoming light. This is important because when there is light, the brain will keep a person alert.

Furthermore, sleeping with your eyes open can make your sleep quality worse. Not surprisingly, then people who do this will feel sleepy during activities during the day. His body also tends to be tired.

Therefore, it is important to discuss with your doctor to find out the trigger as well as the right treatment.

Causes of sleeping with open eyes

There are several factors that make someone sleep with their eyes open. Some of them are:

  • Optic nerve problems
  • Stroke
  • Wounds on the eyelids
  • Injuries to the face or skull
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Tumor
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Autoimmune conditions (Guillain-Barré syndrome)
  • Surgical procedures near the facial nerve
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Take sleeping pills
  • Chemical burns

But in some cases, there are also people who do nocturnal lagophthalmos without knowing exactly what causes it. There is also the possibility that it runs in families.

When should you go to the doctor?

If this condition interferes with the quality of sleep and activities the next day, you should not delay consulting a doctor. Later, the doctor will perform an examination related to:

  • How long the symptoms last
  • Are the symptoms very bad when you wake up in the morning
  • Do you use a fan in the bedroom
  • Has anyone ever told about this habit

Then, the doctor will perform several tests to observe the condition of the eye when it is closed. The doctor will also measure how large the space is when the eye is open, as well as apply procedures such as the slit lamp exam and fluorescein eye stain.

Management of nocturnal lagophthalmos

Some of the treatments that may be given include:

  • Lid tapping

The doctor may suggest closing the eye with the help of a micropore/plaster, by slightly pulling the upper/lower eyelid in the opposite direction. This action is recommended to be done before going to bed both during the day and at night.

  • Drug administration

The doctor will prescribe medication such as eye drops, artificial tears, or a special ointment to prevent friction in the eye.

  • Treatment of the oil glands of the eye

There are small glands called meibomian glands that keep the eyes moist. This gland also plays a role in keeping the eyelids closed. Treatment of these glands means cleaning the eyes and applying a warm compress twice a day to keep oil production smooth.

  • Operation

If the case is severe enough, eyelid implant surgery may be necessary. The goal is to make the eyelids heavier and easier to close. This solution is permanent and 90% successful.

  • Hypnotherapy

The therapist can also provide hypnotherapy to induce intense concentration. This can help some people fall asleep with their eyes closed.

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