Medically the review by Ann Marie Griff, O.D. — composed by Bethany Cadman — updated on December 21, 2020

People that sleep with their eyes open might wake up emotion their eyes are dry and grainy. Some might think this habit is odd, but it is fairly common. A person who sleeps with their eyes open regularly could end increase with major eye problems, however.

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The medical term for sleeping with the eyes open is nocturnal lagophthalmos. Approximately 20 percent of people are affected. One factor that it happens is difficulties with the face nerves or muscles the make it daunting to save the eyes totally closed. It can additionally occur since of problems with the skin roughly the eyelids.

If human being keep their eyes open up while sleeping, their eyes deserve to dry out. Without enough lubrication, the eye are much more susceptible to infections and can end up being scratched and also damaged.

People may experience the following:

rednessblurred visionirritation or a burning sensationscratchinesssensitivity come lightfeeling together if something is in the eye or rubbing versus itpoor sleep quality

Most human being realize they have actually slept through their eyes open up because another person tells them they have done so.

Causes of nocturnal lagophthalmos

People generally sleep with their eyes open due to the fact that of a difficulty with the face muscles, nerves, or skin about the eyelids.

Paralysis or weakening of the muscle the closes the eyelids, known as the orbicularis oculi, can reason someone come sleep through their eyes open.

Conditions the can reason muscle weak or paralysis that the face nerves include:

a rare neurological problem called Moebius syndrome that affects the muscles controlling facial and eye movement

Trauma, injury, or surgery have the right to also an outcome in damage and also paralysis to facial muscles and also nerves.

Infections deserve to be less usual causes, and these may include:


Graves’ ophthalmopathy, where the eye bulge or protrude, can likewise make it an overwhelming to close the eyes.

Very thick top or lower eyelashes may likewise prevent the eyelid from closing completely, though this is rare.

There is not always a factor or underlying problem that causes nocturnal lagophthalmos. The may additionally be genetic.

What room the therapy options?
Share on PinterestUp come 20 percent of people may sleep through their eye open.

There are several treatment options.

A doctor might additionally prescribe medications, including:

eye dropsartificial tearsophthalmic ointments to help prevent scratches

A person can additionally wear moisture goggles at night, which have the right to help.

These work-related by moisturizing the eyes during sleep. Sleeping with a humidifier in the bedroom can additionally keep the neighboring air moist and less most likely to dry the end the eyes.

A doctor might recommend using an exterior eyelid weight. This is attached come the exterior of the top eyelids to save them closed. Using surgical tape come the eyelids additionally serves the same purpose.

Another alternative is surgery, despite this is usually only recommended for severe cases.

Surgery for nocturnal lagophthalmus

There space multiple surgeries that can treat lagophthalmos.

In one type of surgery, a gold surgical implant is put into the eyelid that works choose an eyelid weight to store the eye closeup of the door while who is sleeping.

This surgery entails making a small incision top top the outside of the eyelid above the lashes. This create a small pocket wherein the implant is inserted. The implant is organized in ar with stitches, i m sorry seal the pocket.

Antibiotic ointment is applied to the eyelid to assist it heal. As a an outcome of the surgery, a human may experience:


These symptoms should alleviate over time together the eyelid heals.

If someone suspects they have nocturnal lagophthalmos they must visit your doctor.

A doctor will questioning whether any recent trauma or illness could be the cause, how long symptoms have been walking on for, and when symptoms room at your worst.

If a physician believes nocturnal lagophthalmos is the cause of the symptoms, castle will view what wake up to the eyelids after they close.

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They will certainly observe the eyes because that a couple of minutes to watch whether the eyelids begin to twitch or open.

Other exam a doctor may perform have the right to include:

measuring the room between the eyelidsmeasuring the lot of force used to close the eyes once blinkinga slit desk lamp exam, utilizing a microscope and also bright light to research the eyesa fluorescein eye stain test to watch if the eye has actually been damaged