Dry Eyes When Sleeping
If you suffer from chronic dry eye, you know that it’s more than just a little bit of itching and discomfort. Dry eye can make it extremely difficult to function normally, and if you suffer a flat up while driving or operating machinery, it could be potentially dangerous. Thankfully the team at Wicker Park Eye Center offers dry eye treatment to soothe irritation and prevent sudden attacks. These dry eye treatments have been a boon to people in the greater Chicago, IL area.
Dr. Daniel Tepper and his team would like to consider dry eye attacks during sleep and what can be done about them. As you’ll see, there are many options for management to consider.
Can Dry Eye Really Get Worse During Sleep?
Yes! Many people who suffer from dry eye experience flare-ups while they are sleeping and severe dry eye upon waking up. It seems antithetical that your eyes would dry out when they are supposed to be shut, but it’s true. This is a common problem for many people.
Causes of Nighttime Dry Eye
Some of the most common causes of dry eye during sleep include:
Changes in Metabolism - Your metabolism slows down during sleep, with a drop in body temperature and blood circulation. Both can result in reduces tear production while you are sleeping.
- Sleeping with Eyelids Open - Some people sleep with their eyes open or their eyelids partially open. This can lead to the eyes drying out as they sleep.
- Sleep Deprivation - If you’re not sleeping enough, this can affect the circulation of blood and other fluids in your body, the tears included. Make sure you get your Z’s.
- Your Pre-sleep Routine - Many of us check email, watch YouTube, or stream a film on a tablet before bed. Staring at screens before sleep can slow down your blink rate, leading to dry eyes. Screens can also throw off your ability to sleep restfully.
- Allergens - Pollen, animal dander, dust, and other types of allergens that are present in your room can all lead to dry eye flare-ups while you are in bed.
Tips to Manage Dry Eye During Sleep
As a DIY solution to nighttime dry eye, consider the following tips:
- Avoid Staring at Screens Before Bed - Put your phone and tablet away before bed, and turn off your TV or laptop. Instead, unwind with a book or music before sleep to give your eyes a rest.
- Eye Moisturizers at Night - Various types of eye drops, gels, and ointments can be applied to the eyes before bed to prevent dry eye flare-ups as you sleep.
- Use Sleep Masks or Seals - If your eyes do not fully close during sleep, a sleep mask or various eye seal products can keep your eyes shut and lock in moisture.
- Check the Humidity in the Bedroom - If your room is dry, consider a humidifier to help reduce dry eye and dryness when you wake up. If you can avoid running the air conditioner or heat during the night, this can also help with proper humidity.
- Wash Your Sheets - Wash your sheets regularly to remove irritants that can trigger eye discomfort.
- Keep Your Pets Out of Bed - You may love your cat and dog, but if they trigger dry eye attacks, make sure to keep them out of the bedroom, or at least of your bed.
When to Consider Professional Help
If you are unable to find relief from dry eye with the above tips, be sure to speak with an eye doctor. More advanced therapies can be recommended to help alleviate the irritation you experience.
Learn More About Treating Dry Eye
To learn more about managing dry eyes and improving your eye health, be sure to contact our team of eye care specialists. The team at Wicker Park Eye Center is here to help.