When your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too rapidly, you may get dry eye, a common ailment.

Your eyes may experience some pain, redness, and burning, which can be bothersome.

The following are some of the most typical causes of waking up with dry eyes:

  • When you sleep, your eyelids don’t stay tightly closed (nocturnal lagophthalmos)
  • You’re failing to produce sufficient tears to moisten your eyes.
  • Your tear production is insufficient to keep your eyes lubricated.

Continue reading to discover possible causes of your dry eyes as well as remedies.



✅ The benefits of a restful night’s sleep may be diminished if you awaken with dry eyes. Itchy, scratchy, and irritated skin can be uncomfortable and frustrating.

✅ Applying a warm compress and cleaning your eyelids are two treatments for dry eye irritation that you can try at home.

However, schedule a visit with your eye doctor if your discomfort lasts more than a few days.

✅  They are able to perform a thorough eye exam and make a recommendation for care


Nighttime lagophthalmia

The inability of the eyelids to completely close during sleeping is known as nocturnal lagophthalmos. The facial nerve, also known as the seventh cranial nerve, is regarded to be the main contributor to its development.

Facial nerve weakness can be brought on by a number of conditions, such as:

  • a broken jaw or skull
  • damage to the cerebellar artery, which carries blood to the facial nerve
  • Bell’s palsy, a rapid but transient weakening of the facial muscles

The quality of your tears

Tears contain three layers that serve to nourish and cover the front surface of the eye. The layers of water, mucous, and oil are among these. The oil layer keeps the water layer from evaporating while the water layer moisturizes the eye. The mucus layer covers the eye’s surface with an even layer of tears.

To produce tears, all three of these layers must be present. Tear quality decreases if any of these layers aren’t produced in sufficient amounts. The most typical type of dry eyes is keratoconjunctivitis sicca. It results from insufficient water in the tears.


Inadequate generation of tears

The glands in and around the eyelids generate tears. You may not be producing enough tears for a variety of reasons, according to the American Optometric Association. These consist of:

  • Age. Older age frequently brings on dry eyes. Most persons over 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes.
  • Health problems. Low tear production can be a symptom of blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids). Low tear production may also be a symptom of Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid issues.
  • Side effects of medications. Tear production may be adversely affected by decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs.

What should I do if my eyes are dry when I wake up?

Finding out what is causing your dry eyes is the first step. The best way to learn that is to go to your eye doctor for a thorough eye examination. Tell your doctor everything you’re taking, including vitamins and drugs, when you talk to them about your dry eyes. Your physician may suggest any of the following therapies, depending on your particular circumstance:

  • Synthetic teardrops. Eye drops that lubricate your eyes are available over-the-counter. Your doctor could advise using a stronger cream at night.
  • Punctal obstruction Your doctor will perform this treatment to seal the duct that drains your tears (punctum).
  • Thermal pulses Your doctor might advise a thermal pulsation system if the meibomian glands, which create the oil in your tears, are clogged and producing dry eyes (LipiFlow). To clear the blockage, this method warms and rubs it.

Additionally, your physician might suggest any of the medicines listed below:

  • cholinergics, or tear-inducing medications, such pilocarpine or cevimeline
  • eye inserts that lubricate the space between your eyeball and lower eyelid, such as hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic insert (Lacrisert)
  • antibiotics, which can lessen inflammation that may be preventing oil-secreting glands from functioning properly.
  • You can manage corneal irritation with prescription eye drops like cyclosporine (Restasis) or corticosteroids (surface of your eye)

Home cures for dry eyes

You can attempt a variety of home remedies for dry eyes. These consist of:

  • Hot compresses Warm compresses applied to the eyes can aid in clearing clogged oil glands. With your eyes closed, place a clean washcloth against your eyelids after soaking it in warm water. Think about performing this several times each day for a week or two.
  • Cleaning the eyelids Use warm water and a light soap, like baby shampoo, to gently massage the area around the base of your closed eyes in order to treat eyelid irritation.
  • Making use of a humidifier Your eyes can avoid drying out by adding moisture to dry indoor air, especially during the winter.
  • Consuming water. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to stay hydrated.
  • The rule of 20-20-20. The American Optometric Association advises taking a 20-second break to look at anything 20 feet away for each 20 minutes spent seeing a screen.
  • Sunglasses with a rim. Wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun and drying air.
  • Air purifier. Filters can lessen airborne irritants like dust and other things that can cause dry eyes.



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