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Waking up with Dry Eyes: Reasons & Fixes

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A young woman lying in bed rubbing her right eyes with her right hand.

Waking up with dry eyes can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. Not only can it make it difficult to open your eyes in the morning, but it can also cause redness, irritation, and even blurred vision throughout the day.

Fortunately, several fixes for dry eyes available can help alleviate dry eyes and improve overall eye health. Examples include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Scleral lenses
  • Restastis eye drops
  • Using a humidifier 
  • Removing contacts before bed
  • Improving your diet
  • Taking breaks from screen time

If you think you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, book a comprehensive eye exam so your eye doctor can aid you in coming up with an appropriate treatment plan.

Reasons for Waking up with Dry Eyes

Understanding the underlying causes of your dry eyes is essential for finding the right remedies and treatments. By determining the source of your dry eyes, you can take the necessary steps to manage and prevent this uncomfortable condition.

Low Humidity

The air inside your home may get very dry during the winter months or in dry climates. This can cause dry eyes, as well as other health issues such as dry skin and respiratory problems.


Allergies can make your eyes red, itchy, and dry. This is especially true if you have dust, pollen, or pet dander allergies. Take an antihistamine or use allergy eye drops to relieve dryness caused by allergies.

You can also try to reduce your allergen exposure by closing windows and doors, using air purifiers, and washing your bedding regularly.

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses, especially if worn for an extended period of time, can contribute to dry eyes. To avoid dryness, try wearing contact lenses made specifically for dry eyes. It’s also important to keep your contact lenses clean and to avoid wearing them for longer periods than recommended.


Our bodies produce less oil and moisture as we age, which can result in dry eyes. This is a normal part of aging, and while it can’t be avoided, it can be managed.

Fixes for Waking up with Dry Eyes

While dry eyes can be a frustrating and unpleasant experience, there are many simple and effective ways to manage this condition.

Several remedies can help reduce dryness and discomfort. By implementing these strategies, you can help keep your eyes healthy, comfortable, and well-lubricated. 

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help keep your eyes lubricated and prevent dryness. It’s recommended to drink around 4–6 cups of water a day to stay hydrated.

Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are larger than traditional contact lenses and cover the entire cornea, resting on the sclera (the white part of the eye). This design creates a reservoir of fluid between the lens and the eye, which can help keep the eye moist and reduce dryness.

Scleral lenses are often recommended for people with severe dry eye syndrome, as they can provide long-lasting relief and improve vision.

If you’re interested in trying scleral lenses, talk to your eye doctor to see if they are a good option for you.


Prescription eye drops, such as Restasis, are another popular treatment for dry eyes. Restasis contains cyclosporine, which aids in the reduction of inflammation and the production of tears.

This medication is often prescribed for people who have chronic dry eye syndrome and haven’t found relief from over-the-counter eye drops. Restasis may take several weeks to start working, and it should be used regularly as directed by your eye doctor.

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier can help add moisture to the air and prevent dryness. Place a humidifier in your bedroom or other areas where you spend a lot of time.

Remove Your Contacts Before Bed

If you wear contact lenses, be sure to remove them before going to bed. This can help prevent dry eyes and other eye problems.

Focus on Diet

Eating omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like salmon and flaxseed can help reduce inflammation and promote eye health. Furthermore, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in vitamin A, can help keep your eyes healthy and prevent dryness.

Take Breaks from Screen Time

Taking frequent breaks from looking at a computer, phone, or TV screen can also help prevent dry eyes. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away. This can aid in the reduction of eye strain and dryness.

A woman sitting in an optometrist's office looking into a machine that tests her vision.

We’re Here to Help

If you have dry eyes regularly, you should consult an eye doctor to determine the underlying cause and the best treatment plan for you.

You can help alleviate dryness and prevent further discomfort by making simple lifestyle changes such as staying hydrated and taking regular breaks from screen time.

Furthermore, prescription medications like Restasis and specialized lenses like scleral lenses can provide long-term relief for people with chronic dry eye syndrome.

If you have persistent dry eyes or other eye-related symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek help from the team at Metro EyeCare.

Written by Jeff Neighbors

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