Not Just Dark Circles: Chronic Sleep Loss Affects Eyes

sira anamwong FDPFor many Raleigh and Durham residents, chronic sleep loss is considered normal and just a part of life we all have to accept. We enjoy our crazy busy lives on the run here in the Triangle. The real warriors plod on, working hard, parenting, enjoying night life and not getting enough sleep. All this despite the fact that sleep loss is linked to heart disease, weight gain, poor performance, diabetes — and eye health problems.

Park Ophthalmology recently addressed sleep apnea and the many health issues it can cause, including floppy eyelid syndrome, glaucoma, and swelling of the optic nerves.

However, even those without sleep apnea who do not get enough hours of shut-eye are risking eye health issues, and not just when it comes to droopy bags and dark circles. Sleep is how our bodies rest, rejuvenate, and prepare for another day. Studies show the human eye needs at least five hours of sleep per night to replenish itself and reach its full working potential.

One common side effect of sleep deprivation is eye spasms. Those annoying twitches are called Eyelid Myokymia. While they do not damage your vision, they can be disruptive. Lack of sleep is the main cause.

Sleep loss over a period of time can also cause other eye health issues, including popped blood vessels in the eye due to strain. Lack of sleep is also associated with dry eye, which causes pain, light sensitivity, itching, redness and blurred vision. Although not always connected to lack of sleep, resting the eyes during the day is also important, and can prevent eye strain, especially for those staring at computer screens all day.

Sleeping is often listed as an eight-hour activity for adults, but studies show individuals in their 20s actually need nine hours. While older adults may require less, the amount is different for everyone. Going to sleep and waking up at a consistent hour each day will help improve sleep and overall eye health.

If lack of sleep seems to be causing problems with your eyes, call Beth R. Friedland M.D. at Park Ophthalmology right away for an appointment.


Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about sleep and eye health is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: sira anamwong,


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