Why Are My Eyes Dry in The Morning? | Shepherd Eye Center

Why Are My Eyes Dry in The Morning?

Waking up with dry eyes can really undo the restorative effects of a good night’s sleep! Many people who suffer from chronic dry eyes often find that their eyes feel the driest first thing in the morning.

Often, people who wake up with dry eyes say that their eyes feel sandy or gritty right when they wake up. Other people experience bothersome itchiness or a burning sensation that is only alleviated by using lubricating eye drops.

Dry eyes in the morning can have several possible causes. Keep reading to learn some of the most common reasons for dryness of the eyes in the morning!


During a long night of sleep, your body can become dehydrated, affecting the moisture levels in your eyes. If you are not drinking enough water during the day or if you sleep in an environment with low humidity, dehydration can contribute to dry eyes in the morning.

Overnight Exposure to Dry Air

If you sleep near a fan, air conditioner, or open window, you can expose your eyes to dry air. This dry air can cause moisture to evaporate from the surface of your eye, leading to morning eye dryness.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

The meibomian glands in your eyelids produce an oily substance that helps to prevent tear evaporation. Certain factors, like age, hormonal changes, or certain medications can cause meibomian gland dysfunction, leading to inadequate oil secretion and faster tear evaporation.


If you suffer from allergies, the release of histamines can cause inflammation and dryness of the eyes. Eye dryness in the morning may be more pronounced due to allergen accumulation on your bedding or in your bedroom.

Contact Lens Misuse

It is never advisable to leave contact lenses in while you sleep. During the night, the lenses can absorb moisture from your eyes, leading to discomfort and dryness when you wake up.

Certain Medical Conditions

Less commonly, there are certain medical conditions that prevent the eyes from closing properly, allowing them to become dry during the night. One of these is lagophthalmos, which is caused by problems with the muscles that control your eyelid, a deformity in the eyelid tissue, or partial facial paralysis.

While one type of lagophthalmos, nocturnal lagophthalmos, can specifically cause dry eyes in the morning. If left untreated, any form of lagophthalmos can cause damage to the cornea, resulting in potential vision loss.

How to Prevent Dry Eye in the Morning?

Depending on the cause of your morning eye dryness, there are several ways to prevent or alleviate the condition. They include increasing humidity in your bedroom, using artificial tears to keep your eye lubricated, always removing contact lenses before you turn in for the night, and staying hydrated throughout the day.

If you are frequently experiencing dry eye in the morning or if your morning dry eye is causing significant discomfort, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at Shepherd Eye Center. Consulting with an eye care professional is the best way to determine the underlying causes of your dry eyes and to find treatment solutions that can get you back to starting your day with eyes that feel great!

Are you waking up with dry eyes? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today!

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