Some parents are alerted when they observe that their son, still asleep, stays with his eyes open or half open. Although it may seem strange to us, it is a situation that occurs frequently, not only in children, but can also occur in adults. This disorder is called nocturnal lagophthalmos. The term
Some parents are alerted when they observe that their son, still asleep, stays with his eyes open or half open. Although it may seem strange to us, it is a situation that occurs frequently, not only in children, but can also occur in adults.
This disorder is called nocturnal lagophthalmos. The term comes from the Greek and means hare. An animal that is characterized by sleeping with its eyes open to be always alert to possible enemies. Be that as it may, why do some children sleep with their eyes open?
Children who sleep with their eyes open
This disorder is involuntary and occurs when there is an inability to completely close the eye while we are asleep.
During the dream we go through different phases. We begin the process with a light phase reaching the deepest state. It is precisely in that passage from the light dream to the deep one in which the nocturnal lagophthalmos usually occurs.
Children who keep their eyes open during sleep may have lesions such as red eyes, eye pain, blurred vision and even stinging or grit in the eyes. This is because the eye is not sufficiently lubricated and clean as it should be, and it is more exposed to damage from external infectious agents.
This nighttime disorder can not be prevented. It does not have to appear whenever we sleep and according to experts it is not hereditary. It may be that an external factor prevents the complete closure of the eyelid during the sleep period, or it may be a symptom of a facial nerve injury that prevents the eyelid muscle from closing properly.
What to do if the child sleeps with open eyes
If our child does not show any other symptoms except sleeping with half-closed eyes, it can be considered normal and does not have to worry.
In some cases doctors recommend lubricating the eye with artificial tears or gels to avoid possible eye damage. When the eye is exposed to air the tears evaporate and can be affected by infections.
If the consequences are more serious, doctors may opt for surgery to solve the problem and allow the eyelids to close easily during sleep.
If there is any doubt, we should consult with our pediatrician or specialist so that it is he who values the treatment to follow.