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Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

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Updated April 01, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: Nocturnal lagophthalmos is a condition in which the eyelids do not fully shut during sleep.

Nocturnal lagophthalmus may cause you to feel like you have something in your eye. It may also cause scratchy eyes, redness, blurry vision, or eye irritation, especially during the night and upon awakening.

Some causes of nocturnal lagophthalmos include facial nerve problems, Bell’s palsy, thyroid disease, and Graves’ disease. Sometimes nocturnal lagophthalmus is hereditary.

Treatment may involve eye drops, eyelid taping, gold weight implantation, or surgery.

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