Sleep Mask for Dry Eye - Relief for Severe Dry Eye

Sleep Mask for Dry Eye - Relief for Severe Dry Eye

Understanding Dry Eye

Dry eye disease is a common and often uncomfortable condition that affects millions of people worldwide. DED occurs when eyes do not produce sufficient tears (aqueous deficiency) or when tears evaporate too quickly (evaporative dry eye). This can lead to symptoms such as redness, irritation, over tearing, blurred vision, or even painful sensations in the eyes.

To learn more about Dry Eye Disease, be sure to read Dry Eye: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment.

While there are various treatments available - a simple, yet remarkably effective, solution gaining popularity is the use of dry eye moisture retaining masks or goggles. In this post, we will explore the benefits of moisture retaining masks and how they can be used to provide relief from symptoms of dry eye at night.

Why Eyes Feel Dry at Night

Sleep is an important determinant of health and quality of life. If you have dry eye you may experience increased feelings of dryness, pain, or redness throughout the night or after waking up in the morning. In fact, there are many studies (1, 2, 3) that have shown a connection between dry eye and poor sleep quality. To better understand how to treat the problem, first we must understand the underlying factors that cause dry eye symptoms to flare up at night.

Biological Factors Impacting Dry Eye at Night

Decreased Tear Production: Tear production tends to decrease as the day progresses due to our natural circadian rhythm, with the lowest levels occurring at night. This reduction in tear production can leave the eyes more vulnerable to dryness and discomfort (resource).

Decreased Blinking: On average, humans blink about 15-20 times per minute. Blinking is critical for maintaining eye health, responsible for distributing tears evenly across the eye's surface. Unfortunately, in the evening, many people tend to read, watch TV, or look at their phone, which decreases our blink rate. This reduction in blinking exacerbates dry eye symptoms as the surface of the eye receives less (and uneven) tear distribution.

Sleeping with Eyes Partially Open: Some individuals sleep with their eyes partially open, a condition known as nocturnal lagophthalmos. This exposes the eyes to more air and increases the rate of tear evaporation, leading to increased dryness.

Corneal Abrasion and Erosion: Corneal erosion occurs when the outer layer of cells on the cornea, known as the epithelium, detaches from the layer beneath. Unfortunately those with DED are at increased risk for recurrent corneal abrasions, which can in turn increase eye sensitivity and pain, worsening dry eye symptoms.

Medication: Certain medications such as antihistamines can dry out the body and affect tear production or quality.

Environmental Factors Impacting Dry Eye at Night

Ever taken a red eye flight and woken up with horribly dry eyes? Surrounding airflow from fans and low humidity levels from arid climates or air conditioning can accelerate tear evaporation, leaving the eyes feeling drier and more irritated. Airflow can be particularly problematic for those with nocturnal lagophthalmos (noted above), as eyes are exposed to more air which heightens the risk of evaporative tear loss.

How Dry Eye Moisture Retaining Goggles Work

Moisture Retaining Sleep Mask Details

Learn More about the Blinkjoy Moisture Retaining Sleep Mask

Moisture retaining masks are specially designed to create a microenvironment around the eyes, helping to maintain a higher level of humidity and prevent excessive evaporation of tears. 

Increased Humidity: One of the key advantages of moisture retaining masks is that they create a controlled environment around the eyes to artificially increase humidity and prevent tear loss.

Reduced Tear Evaporation: Moisture retaining masks act as a barrier against environmental elements that can lead to increased tear evaporation such as wind, air conditioning, or dry indoor heating. People who use these products while sleeping often pair them with nighttime OTC drops or ointments such as Systane Lubricant Eye Gel or Refresh P.M. Lubricant Eye Ointment. Once eyes are properly lubricated, it is important to keep them this way throughout the night. Preventing moisture from evaporating can provide enhanced lubrication and reduce sensations of grittiness or irritation.

Protection from Irritants: Dust, pollen, and other allergens can worsen dry eye symptoms. In addition to maintaining a higher level of humidity, moisture retaining masks also act as a barrier against external irritants, which can reduce symptom flare ups.

Is a Moisture Retaining Mask right for me?

While moisture retaining goggles can be beneficial for individuals with chronic dry eye, they can also provide relief for those experiencing dryness due to factors like prolonged screen use, travel, or exposure to dry environments. They are particularly useful for:

  • People suffering from chronic dry eye or conditions that affect tear quality or quantity.
  • People suffering from nocturnal lagophthalmos, sleep apnea, or recurrent corneal erosions.
  • Those experiencing discomfort after LASIK or other eye surgeries.
  • Individuals with allergies that exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
  • Individuals working in environments with low humidity levels.
  • Anyone seeking relief from dry eyes during air travel.


Learn More about the Blinkjoy Moisture Retaining Sleep Mask

Dry eye moisture retaining masks represent a significant advancement in the management of dry eye syndrome. By creating an extra hydrating microenvironment that retains moisture, prevents tear evaporation, and shields the eyes from irritants - these products offer substantial relief for individuals suffering from chronic or acute dry eye disease. 

Whether used as a primary treatment or as a supplementary measure alongside other therapies, moisture retaining masks have proven to be an effective tool in improving dry eye symptoms and enhancing overall eye health.

If you are struggling with dry eyes, consider consulting with an eye care professional to explore whether moisture retaining masks could be a suitable solution for you. Your eyes deserve the care and relief they provide.


Justin Mendelson

Justin Mendelson

Serial entrepreneur and product development expert, Justin Mendelson has lived with severe dry eye for nearly two decades. When he was at his worst, he used rewetting drops every 20 minutes and wasn’t sleeping longer than an hour at a time without waking up in excruciating eye pain. After many years of struggle, Justin made a commitment to himself and to the millions of people that suffer from eye disease to develop better products for eye health and chronic dry eye relief.

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