As a parent to a small child, there will always be times when you witness peculiar behaviors, but if you catch your child sleeping with their eyes open, it can definitely cause some concern. What most parents do not know is if a child is sleeping with their eyes open, there is actually a medical term for this. It is known as childhood nocturnal lagophthalmos, and this optic condition is sure to bring about a few questions as a parent. Here are a few of the most common questions you will likely have if you discover your little one fast asleep with their eyes wide open in the night.
Is nocturnal lagophthalmos something that you should be concerned about as a parent?
Other than being a bit alarming, childhood nocturnal lagophthalmos is usually not something that should cause you any real concern. If their eyes being open makes you uncomforable, you can gently coax their eyelids closed while they sleep. This condition is often hereditary; therefore, it is a good idea to examine your own sleeping patterns by talking to your partner or even ask your parents if you ever had the same issues.
What kind of complications can come with nocturnal lagophthalmos?
In rare cases, nocturnal lagophthalmos can cause problems with contaminants getting into the eyes at night, which will cause irritation. If you see your little one waking up with red, irritated eyes, it is best to talk to the doctor about resolutions. You may be given eye drops to deter the symptoms or even soft covers for the eyes that your child can wear while they are asleep.
Will this condition be something that your child will grow out of in the future?
In most cases, your little one will stop displaying this unusual behavior as they grow older, as it is often related to a simple nervous system response. However, if you notice that your child continues to show symptoms of nocturnal lagophthalmos, it never hurts to see a pediatric optometrist for advice. If the problem persists, there could be a more serious problem to contend with, such as inadequate development of the eyelids.
When it comes down to it, your child keeping their eyes open while they sleep is usually no big deal. However, to become more familiar with the problem and determine if there is a reason to be concerned, talk to your child's eye doctor for advice.
For more information, consider contacting an eye doctor like Atlantic Eye Consultant PC - Delianides Aris P MD.