If your partner starts asking you if you have trust issues for no apparent reason, it may be because they have caught you sleeping with one or both of your eyes open in the middle of the night. Even though quite common, a lot of people do not know that sleeping with your eyes open is actually a medical condition with a technical name: nocturnal lagophthalmos. If you know that you have displayed this unusual sleeping behavior, it is likely that you have discussed it with others and you possibly have developed a few misconceptions. Here are a few of the more prevailing myths about nocturnal lagophthalmos.
Myth: Sleeping with your eyes open means you are just having anxiety issues.
Fact: Even though sleeping with one eye open may be a phrase coined to describe someone who is paranoid or anxious, this issue is rarely related to true anxiety problems. In fact, nocturnal lagophthalmos is most often associated with the nerves in the face preventing the eyelids from closing while you are asleep.
Myth: Nocturnal Lagophthalmos may be strange, but it is not serious.
Fact: It is true that sleeping with your eyes open is usually not a serious cause for concern. However, keeping your eyes open for extended periods while you are unaware can cause issues with eye irritation, such as redness or feeling like you have something in your eyes when you wake up. Furthermore, nocturnal lagophthalmos can be indicative of thyroid problems or even negative consequences after cosmetic surgery. It is always a good idea to talk to your optometrist if you are frequently hearing that you are sleeping with your eyes open.
Myth: There is nothing that an optometrist can do for nocturnal lagophthalmos.
Fact: If the issue is caused by lack of tissue around the eyelids, eye stints may be used to help stretch the skin of the lid forward, which is often helpful if you have had cosmetic surgery procedures that have left the eyelids too tight.If there is no underlying cause that can be addressed by the optometrist, they can still help to treat the symptoms that can be associated with this unusual sleep disorder. You may be given soft eye covers to keep your lids weighted down while you sleep and given eye drops that will help combat excessive contaminants that can make their way into open eyes.
When it comes down to the facts, nocturnal lagophthalmos may not be a major medical condition, but it is definitely a condition that is worth discussing with your eye doctor. Talk to an optometrist such as one at Country Hills Eye Center for more information if you suspect that you are keeping your eyes open when you try to sleep.