People are wondering if it is possible to sleep with their eyes open. Some people actually sleep with their eyes open. If you are asking if it is fine, no. It can damage their eyes and vision. Lagophthalmos is the term used for being unable to close the eyelids. It is called nocturnal lagophthalmos if it only happens during sleep. Your eyes can dry out if there is a small opening in the eyelids overnight. If this continues to occur, your eyes can become chronically dry that leads to scratches on the eye, keratopathy, corneal ulcers, and corneal abrasions.
It does not mean that the eyes are wide open because in most cases, the lids close but not completely. When people fall asleep, it is natural for eyelids to close completely as the facial muscles relax. These are the conditions where people might sleep with their eyes open:
● If they are born with eyelids that do not close completely
● If their eyelid muscles are damaged by inflammation, infection, or injury
● If they have Bells’ palsy, stroke, tumor, or another condition that can paralyze facial nerves
● If they have Graves’ disease or another condition that can cause the eyes to bulge forward
● If they had blepharoplasty or surgery that can change how eyelids move
Sleeping with eyes open does not keep someone from falling asleep. The drying and irritation in the eyes can make sleep less restful and uncomfortable when you wake up. Unfortunately, you will not know whether you are sleeping with your eyes open. You need someone to look at or take a picture of you while you are sleeping. During an eye exam, an ophthalmologist can check if your lids are closing fully.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleeping With Eyes Open?
You might experience the following symptoms if your eyes are not closing all the way at night. It includes:
● Foreign body sensation or feeling like there is something inside your eye
● Red eyes
● Blurry vision especially when you wake up
● Light sensitivity
● Not being able to sleep well
Is There a Treatment for Sleeping With Eyes Open?
If you think that you are sleeping with your eyes open, visit an ophthalmologist to know the reason behind this. There are treatments available for many causes and symptoms of nocturnal lagophthalmos. The treatments for sleeping with your eyes open include:
● Taping the eyelids with medically safe tape. Talk to your doctor before doing this.
● Use eye wetting drops or ointments at night.
● Treat the underlying condition that keeps the eyelids from closing completely.
● Have surgery to change how the eyelid moves.
● Have surgery to add weights to the eyelids which can help them to close.