Reasons Why My Eyes Are Dry When I Wake Up

Team Health Cages

Updated on:

why are my eyes so dry when i wake up

A dry eye condition known as Nocturnal Lagophthalmos may cause you to wake up with dry eyes. Insufficient tear production may cause you to wake up with dry eyes due to age, medications, or medical conditions.

These topics will be discussed in this blog:

What Does Dry Eye Mean?

Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t have enough tears or when the tears produced are of poor quality. This can lead to discomfort such as burning, itching, or a feeling of grittiness in the eyes. Factors contributing to dry eye include environmental conditions like air conditioning, heating, or windy weather, as well as activities like prolonged screen time or wearing contact lenses.

Managing dry eye involves various approaches tailored to your specific situation. Your eye doctor may recommend artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to provide relief. They may also suggest lifestyle changes such as taking regular breaks from screens, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, or wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from wind and dust.

It’s important to address dry eye promptly to prevent further irritation and potential damage to your eyes. By working closely with your eye care professional and adopting strategies to keep your eyes moist and comfortable, you can effectively manage dry eye and maintain clear vision.

Dry Eye Complications 

When dry eye goes untreated, it can lead to several complications, making your eyes uncomfortable and affecting your vision. Some of these complications include

  • Irritation or Grittiness Your eyes may feel gritty or like sand, causing discomfort.
  • Burning or Itching You may experience a burning sensation or itchiness in your eyes.
  • Feeling There’s Something in Your Eye It may feel like a foreign object in your eye, even though there isn’t.
  • Blurry Vision Dry eye can cause your vision to become blurry, making it difficult to see clearly.
  • Excessive Watering Surprisingly, watery eyes can be a symptom of dry eye. When your eyes lack sufficient tears, they may overcompensate by producing excessive watery tears.
  • Eye Infections Without proper lubrication, your eyes are more vulnerable to infections, which can lead to redness, swelling, and discomfort.
  • Damage to Cornea Prolonged, untreated dry eye can damage the cornea, the transparent layer covering the front of the eye, leading to further complications and vision problems.

Additionally, untreated dry eye can impact your daily activities and quality of life. It may cause difficulty wearing contact lenses, make it uncomfortable to be in environments with air conditioning or heating and affect your ability to work on computers or read for extended periods. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek treatment from an eye care professional if you experience symptoms of dry eye to prevent these complications and maintain eye health.

Some Reasons for Dry Eyes While Sleeping? 

Your eyes have three layers of tears: oily, watery, and mucus. These layers help protect and lubricate your eyes to keep them healthy.

Dry eye can happen when there’s a problem with the tear film. This might be because your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears aren’t good quality, or they evaporate too quickly.

Some common reasons for dry eyes at night include

  • Age Older people often experience dry eyes.
  • Hormonal changes Things like pregnancy or menopause can affect tear production.
  • Health conditions like Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, or thyroid issues can lead to dry eyes.
  • Nocturnal lagophthalmos Some people don’t fully close their eyelids while sleeping, causing dryness.
  • Medication Certain drugs can cause dry eyes as a side effect.
  • Screen time Spending a lot of time in front of screens can reduce blinking and lead to dry eyes.
  • Contact lens use Wearing contacts for too long can dry out your eyes.
  • Vitamin deficiencies Lack of certain vitamins may contribute to dry eyes.

Waking up with dry eyes can happen due to various reasons. Dust, dander, dry air from air conditioning or heating, and using a fan in your room can all contribute to dryness. Dry eye syndrome occurs when the protective tear film covering your eyes gets damaged. This can happen due to aging, hormonal changes, or certain autoimmune conditions.

Clogged oil glands along your eyelids can also cause dry eyes by preventing the release of oily tears. When these glands are blocked or swollen, your tears evaporate too quickly, leading to dryness.

Some Remedies to Treat Dry Eye at Home 

Warm Compresses

  • Tears are made of oil, water, and mucus, which keep your eyes moist and healthy.
  • If your eyelids are inflamed, it can block the oil glands, causing dry eyes.
  • To help, use a warm, damp cloth on your closed eye for at least a minute to loosen clogged oils.
  • Gently press the edge of your eyelid to help release the oils.
  • Do this daily to reduce inflammation.

Blinking More

  • Staring at screens reduces blinking, leading to dry eyes.
  • Blink often, and follow the 20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from the screen.
  • Lower your screen below eye level to reduce strain and slow tear evaporation between blinks.

Eating Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Foods like salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed contain omega-3 fatty acids.
  • These help the oil glands in your eyes work better, reducing irritation.

Staying Hydrated

  • Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day to keep your eyes moist.
  • Water-rich foods also help, like cucumbers and watermelon.

Using Eye Drops

  • Over-the-counter eye drops can help, but avoid those with preservatives that may irritate your eyes.
  • Drops that reduce redness aren’t suitable for dry eyes.

To help with dry eyes, it’s essential to know what causes them, like getting older, changes in hormones, and the environment around you. Simple things at home, like wearing warm clothes and keeping your eyelids clean, can make your eyes feel better. Also, take breaks from screens and make sure to drink enough water for healthy eyes. If your eyes still bother you, talk to a healthcare professional for advice and possible treatments. Doing these easy things at home and listening to the experts can help you feel better and ease the discomfort of dry eyes.


Q1. Why did I wake up with super dry eyes?

A1. Air conditioners or fans running while you sleep can cause the air to become very dry. Aging can also cause dry eyes because of reduced tear production as we age. 

Q2. How do you prevent dry eyes in the morning?

A2. Drink plenty of water every morning and make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day to alleviate your dry eye symptoms. Dehydration can worsen your symptoms, even if they are minor. 

Q3. How do you fix dry eyes after sleeping?

A3. You can gently massage your eyelids with your finger or cotton bud. This pushes the oils from the glands. Gently wipe away any excess oil, crusts, bacteria, dust, or grime that has built up on your eyelids with cotton wool soaked in warm water (not hot).

Q4. Can dry eyes become serious?

A4. The stinginess, itchiness, and sensitivity of dry eyes have a profound effect on every aspect of your daily life. But dry eyes can become a truly serious condition, eventually resulting in loss of vision. why you should call us at Smart Eye Care for prompt treatment, even if your symptoms seem mild.

Q5. Will dry eyes go away?

A5. Chronic dry eyes develop when your eyes are not producing enough tears for a healthy tear film. Treatment can improve the symptoms over time, but they may never go away completely.