Waking Up With Dry Eyes

What Causes Waking Up With Dry Eyes?

Waking up with dry eyes can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'needs attention'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose waking up with dry eyes, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "waking up with dry eyes" as a symptom.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Premature Aging
  • Drug Side-Effects
  • Blepharitis
  • Dry Eye

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
elevated eosinophil count
reduced skin elasticity
irritated eyes
occasional itchy eyes
long focal length
recent onset diarrhea
black/brown fingernails
great loss of muscle tone
having low melatonin levels
specific muscle weakness
very bloodshot eyes
serious eye discharge
... and more than 20 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of waking up with dry eyes:
Cause Probability Status
Drug Side-Effects 94% Confirm
Premature Aging 20% Unlikely
Blepharitis 4% Ruled out
Dry Eye 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate sleeping-related problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
How often do you wake up with dry eyes? Do not include dry eyes that are caused by sleeping with your eyes open or partially open (a condition known as Nocturnal Lagophthalmos).
Possible responses:
→ Never / almost never / don't know
→ I sleep with my eyes (partially) open
→ Occasionally - once a month or less
→ Regularly - a few times a month
→ Usually or always
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate eyes (partially) open while sleeping, waking up with dry eyes or often waking up with dry eyes, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
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