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Identifying and Addressing Root Causes for Dry Eyes in the Morning

Gina Walters


dry eyes in the morning

Waking up with discomfort or irritation in your eyes sometimes indicates a more serious problem.

Dry Eyes occur when tears fail to provide adequate lubrication, which may cause damage to the eyes. 

Individuals with Dry Eyes may notice a burning sensation, scratching, impaired vision, or red eyes.

This article will attempt to answer the question: What causes Dry Eyes in the morning? 

Additionally, we’ll discuss actions to take if you experience Dry Eyes and explore available treatment options.

What causes Dry Eyes in the morning

Several factors, like decreased blinking during the day and exposure to allergens, can lead to Dry Eyes.

Prolonged screen time can result in reduced blinking, potentially causing dry eyes in individuals.

In some individuals, Inadequate tear production may also lead to Dry Eyes.

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Some of these factors for Dry Eyes are:

Inadequate tear production

dry eyeSource: Pixeloit
Man suffering from dry eye

When the tear glands do not generate enough tears, a person may feel Dry Eyes. 

Many conditions can contribute to insufficient tear generation in the eye.

Age: Dry Eyes are one of the most common signs of aging. Most people over the age of 65 experience Dry Eyes symptoms.

Medications: Tear formation can be adversely affected by various medications, including Anticholinergics, Antidepressants, and high blood pressure.

Medical conditions: Dry Eyes can also be caused by thyroid issues, Diabetes, and Arthritis.

Explore the various Dry Eye medications with our article: A Brief Guide to Dry Eye Medication

Tear quality

Tears of poor quality may evaporate too fast, resulting in Dry Eyes. 

Usually tears accumulate to lubricate the eye’s surface before draining through the tear ducts.

Tears comprise three layers: water, oil, and mucous, which protect the front of your eye.

The water layer helps keep your eyes hydrated, and the oil layer keeps the water layer from getting too dry. 

The mucous layer helps spread the tear out on the surface of your eye.

A lack of production of any of the three layers may cause the tears to dry quickly or spread unevenly on the eye surface. 

This can cause you to wake up with a Dry Eye.

Discover how fish oil helps treat Dry Eyes with our article: Discover if There are Any Benefits of Using Fish Oil for Dry Eyes.

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

The inability to close eyelids tightly or adequately during sleep is known as Nocturnal Lagophthalmos. 

Research states that Nocturnal Lagophthalmos might aggravate Dry Eye symptoms and sleep quality.

Involuntary eyelid closing protects the ocular surface against diseases such as Dry Eye. 

A lack of facial nerve function, which can cause Nocturnal Lagophthalmos, may also lead to Dry Eyes.

Know everything about Dry Eyes at night with our article: Dry Eyes at Night: Causes, Effects, and Treatment

Sleeping with a fan or air conditioning can contribute to morning dry eyes due to air circulation.

How to fix Dry Eyes in the morning

eye-dropSource: Porntep-Kawjun
Woman using artificial tear drops

Addressing the underlying causes of Dry Eyes in the morning can provide relief from this condition.

Regular eye examination from a professional eye care specialist is essential to determine Dry Eye causes.

Depending on your circumstances, your doctor may suggest the following treatments:

Artificial tear drops: You can buy over-the-counter eye drops that help lubricate your eyes.

Your doctor might want to give you stronger medication to use while you’re sleeping.

Thermal pulsation: If your tears are causing your eyes to dry, it could be because the glands that make the oil are blocked. 

If that’s the case, your doctor may recommend LipiFlow, which uses heat and massage to break down the blockage.

Punctal occlusion: This is a surgical procedure in which a physician closes a duct that drains fluid from the eye (the punctum).

Ensuring proper hydration may help in Dry Eyes treatment.

Suppose you experience severe or persistent Dry Eye symptoms. In that case, consulting a medical professional for necessary guidance and advice is crucial.

Persistent Dry Eyes in the morning could indicate any underlying eye condition. Consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

Summing up

Dry Eyes in the morning can be distressing to start your day symptoms of Dry Eyes are burning, blurry vision, and even red eyes.

Poor tear quality, inadequate tear production, and Nocturnal Lagophthalmos are causes of Dry Eyes.

Home remedies like regular blinking and utilizing protective eye gear at home can alleviate morning Dry Eye symptoms.

However, consulting an eye care specialist is advised for persistent or severe cases.

Your doctor may recommend using artificial tear drops, punctal occlusion, or thermal pulsation to keep your eyes hydrated.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my eyes dry in the morning?

Morning Dry Eyes often result from reduced blinking during sleep, causing decreased tear production and exposure to air. 
Environmental factors like low humidity and allergies can cause this condition, leading to discomfort upon waking.

Can Dry Eyes in the morning indicate a more serious eye condition?

Yes, morning Dry Eyes can indicate underlying eye conditions like Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), Blepharitis, or Sjögren’s syndrome. 
If symptoms persist or worsen, consulting an eye specialist is crucial for proper evaluation and management.

How do I stop my eyes from drying in the morning?

To prevent morning Dry Eyes, try using a humidifier, applying a warm compress before bed, and staying hydrated. 
Consider using lubricating eye drops, and consult an eye specialist for personalized recommendations and treatments.

Can food allergies cause Dry Eyes?

Yes, food allergies can contribute to Dry Eyes by triggering an inflammatory response in the body, affecting tear production and quality. 
Managing these allergies can help alleviate Dry Eye symptoms for improved ocular health.

Are there any home remedies for treating Dry Eyes in the morning? 

Yes, you can use home remedies for Dry Eyes, such as warm compresses, gentle eyelid massages, and staying well-hydrated. 
Omega-3 supplements, humidifying your bedroom, and avoiding eye strain from screens before bed can also help.

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