Dry, gritty-feeling eyes.Irritation or burning.Redness.Blurred vision.Sensitivity to light. Most people find out they have it when someone tells them their eyes stay slightly open during the night. But others are diagnosed after experiencing eye symptoms: Those symptoms are caused by the surface of your eye drying out during the night. When the outer layer of your eye doesn’t stay moist with tears, your eye may be scratched or damaged.
Signs of nocturnal lagophthalmos “In severe cases, it can lead to pain and cause permanent eye damage,” says sleep medicine specialist Andres Santiago Endara-Bravo, MD. But treatments are available to protect your peepers while you sleep.
Experts aren’t entirely sure how many people have nocturnal lagophthalmos, Dr. Endara-Bravo says. “But we think it’s underdiagnosed.” Maybe your bed partner has mentioned your eyelids don’t fully shut when you snooze or that you sleep with one eye open. Or you might find yourself waking up with dry, irritated eyes. The culprit could be nocturnal lagophthalmos, a condition that prevents one or both eyes from shutting during sleep.
Nocturnal lagophthalmos treatments Nocturnal lagophthalmos can be treated in several ways. Nighttime lagophthalmos can affect one eye or both. And if it goes untreated, it can lead to serious vision problems. “If the dryness becomes severe, it can damage the cornea and impair vision,” Dr. Endara-Bravo says. “It can also cause significant pain.”
Lagophthalmos rarely strikes out of the blue. It’s usually caused by damaged nerves or muscles in your face. The condition may be related to: Nocturnal lagophthalmos causes
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