Dry eyes at night: Causes and How To Treat It ?

Your eyes shed tears of both happiness and sorrow. They are the mirror of your heart and depict your inner emotions intelligently. But what if they suddenly dry off? Do you have complaints of dry eyes especially at night ?

Yes, dry eye is a very common issue that many people experience in their course of life. Some may have dry eyes early in the morning while others suffer during the night.  If you belong to the second category and are wondering if it will affect your sight or sleep, then we are here to help you out.

What exactly do you mean by Dry Eyes?

Your eyes do a lot more than what you think. Apart from helping you see this beautiful world, your eyes also work in maintaining their own moisture level. Each time we blink, we actually leave a tear film over our eyes. This mucous-based layer helps you keep your eyes lubricated and moisturized. Besides, this tear film contains antibodies to keep eye infections at bay.

However, due to some reasons, this tear film stops forming and you feel that your eyes are dry all the time and running out of moisture. This situation is what we refer to as “Dry eyes”. With dry eyes, you may feel that your eyes are itchy all the time, your vision is a little blurred, and they are red. Some people even develop sensitivity to light.

Why do your eyes become drier during the night?

The night is the time when our entire body starts its repair mechanism. When you are enjoying a sound sleep, your entire body is working hard to keep things at the place.  Some people complain that their eyes are drier during the night. To find this answer, you have to ponder over the below-mentioned points:

Your metabolism is at its low point during the night – During the night, the body’s blood pressure, metabolism, and temperature drop simultaneously.  Because of this, your body’s tear production also comes to a halt.  This ultimately denotes that your eyes will not get their natural moisture and you thus develop dry eyes.  With reduced blood pressure; your eyes have to settle down for a low amount of nutrients as well. All these factors, cumulatively, lead to dry eyes during the night.

1. You are a Vigilante

You may be a vigil soul and keep your eyes open during the night as well

We all have different sleeping patterns that play a crucial role in our health. If you sleep with slightly opened eyelids then remember dry eyes are on their way.  This sort of sleeping pattern also leads to various other issues such as inflammation and pain in the eyes after waking up or itching. With slightly opened eyes, your tears evaporate quickly leaving your eyes extremely dry.

2. You are a night owl

If you are a night owl and don’t get your daily sleep requirements then dry eyes are going to follow you. This is because when you don’t get adequate sleep, the fluid circulation of eyes gets hampered. Proper fluid circulation is responsible for deep cleansing of the eyes.  Your eyes require at least 5 hours of sleep per night to maintain their regular function.

3. You are a couch potato

Ohh, so you don’t miss a single episode of the Game of Thrones, Vampire Dairies or the melodrama of Saas-Bahu serials.  Then dry eyes also won’t spare you. People who watch television for long hours or use their mobile phones continuously for a long time are likely to suffer from dry eyes during the night.  Any sort of screen exposure for a longer time dries off the eyes’ moisture rapidly leaving them dry.

4. You are allergic

Allergy is one thing that can give birth to many health issues including dry eyes. If the environment that you sleep in contains something to which you are allergic then you are likely to suffer from dry eyes all the more.  If you get exposed to some of the key allergens such as pet dander, mold spores, or dust just before sleeping, then chances are high that your eyes will become dry during the night.

5. Other reasons that spark off the condition

Other than all the above-mentioned reasons, you may experience dry eyes at their worst during the night if:

  • You are suffering from any health condition such as Sjogren’s disease, Sarcoid disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, and sleep apnea.
  • You are a woman going through menopause.
  • You are on certain drugs such as antihistamines, decongestants and blood pressure drugs.
  • You have done LASIK recently or using contact lens throughout the day.

What can bring relief in this situation?

Dry eyes can damper regular routine and may disturb your sleep. Disturbed sleep is something that no one will ever wish for.  If you are suffering from dry eye issues that reach their peak during the night then adapt our treatment suggestions and get some relief.

1. Say goodbye to your gadgets

Say goodbye to gadgets at least one hour prior to saying it to your family. Using gadgets during night time when you are off to sleep is one habit that can disturb your life on many fronts.  It disturbs your eyes, affects the melatonin production in your body, disturbs the sleep hormone, and puts more strain your eyes.  All these factors support eye dryness during the night.

So, it is advisable not to use gadgets on your sleeping bed. If you are struggling hard to abandon this habit, then at least get an anti-glare screen for your gadgets. It will not put much strain on your eyes.

2. Gulp down fatty acids

Fatty acids are like a panacea for your dry eyes.  As they contain high-fat content, they are known to reduce the inflammation in the eyes, promote tear production, and retain moisture.  Try to include foods such as ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil, palm oil, chia seeds, soybean oil, walnuts, and eggs in your diet.

3. Warm compressor cures all

Using a warm compressor just before you go to bed might help you reduce night eye dryness.  What it actually does is that it prevents early rapid tear evaporation.  Besides this, it also helps you to relax your eye muscles and promote your eyelid glands to generate a high amount of lipids. However, make sure that you are not using a commercial warm compressor as the chances of leakage are high.  The traditional method can be trusted here. Take a piece of clean cloth and a bowl of lukewarm water. Soak the cloth in the water and then put it over your eyes for 15 minutes.

4. Few drops of ointment can do wonders

There are many ointments and drops are available in the market that are known to bring relief form dry eyes during night time. Though they are over the counter products, it is suggested not to use them without consulting your doctor.

Airtight goggles are a great help as well.

To retain your eye moisture during the night, our suggestion is to use airtight eye goggles. By creating a mini moisture chamber for your eyes, they prevent them from drying off easily.

5. Pay attention to your environment

As we all know that allergens can cause dry eyes too, it is suggested to keep an eye on your sleeping environment. This will help you to keep this situation at bay. Make sure your room is free from smoke; that you are using a humidifier during winters and also keeping the AC at optimal temperatures in the summer.

Dry eyes can kill the beauty and sight of your eyes.  So, try to keep this problem at bay by using our tricks and getting a sound sleep.


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I define myself as a voracious reader and an avid writer. I firmly believe that reading non-fiction has played a vital role in honing my writing skills. And when I am not writing, you will find me in trekking Himalayas/ Sahyadris or on a backpacking trip exploring the unexplored places.

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