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After a good night’s bedtime, you expect to feel fresh and ready to face the day. Yet, when you stumble to keep your eyes open in the morning, it can make it that much tougher to roll out of bed.
A dry eye is common when your eyes do not make enough tears or evaporate too fast. This can be uncomfortable and cause pain, redness, and burning in your eye.
Common reasons for waking up with dry eyes
Some of the most familiar reasons for waking up with dry eyes are:
- Your eyelids don’t stay tightly closed during sleep (nocturnal lagophthalmos)
- You’re Not Making High-Quality Tears to Lubricate Your Eyes
- You’re not making enough tears to lubricate your eyes
Read on to learn about what could be causing your dry eyes and how to treat them.
Nocturnal lagophthalmos is the inability to shut the eyelids completely while sleeping. It is thought to be mainly caused by fatigue of the seventh cranial nerve, also known as the facial nerve.
Facial nerve weakness can have many causes, including:
- Skull or jaw trauma
- Injury to the cerebellar artery, which supplies blood to the facial nerve
- Bell’s palsy is a sudden but temporary weakness of the facial muscles
There are three layers of tears to protect and nourish the eye’s front surface. These include layers of water, mucus, and oil.
The water coating hydrates the eye, while the oil coating prevents the water coating from evaporating. The mucus coating spreads the tears evenly over the surface of the eye.
All three of these layers are required to produce tears. If either of these layers is produced in sufficient quantity, the quality of the teardrops will be maintained.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the most familiar form of dry eye. This is due to an insufficient amount of water in tears.
Insufficient tear production
Glands around and inside the eyelids produce tears. According to one of the associations, there are several reasons why you may not be making enough tears. This includes:
- Age. Dry eyes are common with increasing age. Most people over the age of 65 have some symptoms of dry eye.
- Medical conditions. Blueprints (inflammation of the eyelid) can result in reduced tear production. Low tear production can also result from thyroid problems, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Side effects of the medicine. Blood pressure medications can all negatively affect tear production.
What should people do when they wake up with dry eyes?
The first phase is to find out what is provoking your dry eyes. The best manner to get that information is to visit your doctor for a comprehensive sight exam.
When examining your dry eyes with your doctor, tell him about all your medications and nutritional supplements.
Being sure of your specific condition, your doctor may suggest any of the following treatment possibilities:
- Artificial tear drops. You can buy over-the-counter eye drops that can count as lubrication to your eyes. Your doctor may suggest a heavier ointment to use during bedtime.
- Punctal occlusion. This is a method in which your doctor will close the duct that puts out tears from your eye (punctum).
- Thermal pulse. If the glands that produce oil in your tears (meibomian glands) are blocked and cause dry eyes, your doctor may suggest a thermal pulsation system (Lipiflow). This system heats and massages to clear the blockage.
Your doctor may also suggest any of the following medications:
- Cholinergic, or tear-stimulating medications, such as cevimeline or pilocarpine
- Ophthalmic inserts, such as a hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic insert (Lacrisert), which is inserted between your eyeball and your lower eyelid for lubrication
- Antibiotics can reduce inflammation that can interfere with oil-secreting glands.
- Medication eye drops, such as corticosteroids or cyclosporine (Restasis), can control inflammation of your cornea (the surface of your eye)
How can you avoid waking up with dry eyes?
You can start with these five ways to avoid waking up with dry eyes.
- Better sleeping habits.
- Hydrate more.
- Cleaning your eyelashes.
- Eye drops for day and night.
- Adding a Humidifier.
Home remedies for dry eyes
There are several therapies for dry eyes that you can make an effort at home. This includes:
Hot compress. Applying warm compresses to the eyes can help open up the oil-producing glands. Absorb a clean washcloth in lukewarm water. And with your eyes closed, gently press it against your eyelids. Try doing this several times a day for a week or two.
Washing eyelids. To help combat eyelid swelling, use warm water and a bar of mild soap, such as baby shampoo, on your closed eyes to gently massage near the base of your eyelashes.
Using a Humidifier. Putting in moisture to dry indoor air can help keep your eyes from drying out, mainly during the winter.
Drinking Water. Keep up hydrated by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
20-20-20 rule. It is advisable that for every 20 minutes, you look at a screen, make sure to get a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
Wraparound sunglasses. Protect your eyes from the sun and dry winds by sporting wraparound sunglasses.
Air filter. Filters can decrease the dust and other airborne irritants that can promote dry eyes.
Eyelid wash. One way to produce high-quality tears is to keep your eyelids clean.
Other remedies include,
- Warm compress.
- Enter omega-3.
- Coconut oil.
- Increase caffeine.
- Change your environment.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Blink more.
How do you prevent dry eyes while you sleep?
Nighttime eye moisturizer: Various eye drops, gels, and ointments can be applied to the eyes before bed to prevent dry eyes while you sleep. Use sleep masks or seals – If your eyes don’t close completely during sleep, sleep masks or various eye seal products can keep your eyes closed and lock in moisture.