Blog — Eyes of NM, Albuquerque Optometrists

Do you sleep with your eyes open?

Has anyone ever told you that you sleep with your eyes open? When you do this it can cause you to wake up with your eyes burning or watery or red. This is because the part of your eye that is exposed drys out causing your eyes to become uncomfortable.

There is a relatively new technique that we use to evaluate if this is a problem for you. We use a light, you could use a small flashlight, and shine it on the upper eyelid while the eyes are closed gently, like when you are sleeping. If when you shine the light on the top of the eyelid you can see light coming out through the opening between the top and the bottom eyelids than you are likely not creating a tight seal between the two eyes. This was an important discovery because many of these people would not noticeably be sleeping with their eyes open but they would still be symptomatic.

There are two options that recommend to help alleviate the symptoms you have you have this condition.

  1. A gel at night, such as Genteal or Systane gel can be helpful in lubricating the eye. This can be messy and it blurs the vision a bit.
  2. EyeEco has 2 sleep masks that we offer, one is called Onyix and the other is called Eyeseals. The sleep mask works by creating a seal around the eye. While you sleep you sweat and the sweat gets into the mask and helps to create a moisture chamber. This moisture chamber puts your eyes in an environment that is essentially 100% humidity. These were initially used for people who were having problems with their sleep apnea masks putting air into their eyes while they were sleeping but we have since adopted them to use for people who do not have a tight lid seal in their eyes. 
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