Can’t Keep Your Eyelids Open? When More Sleep Doesn’t Help

Posted May 2021

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

Tagged eye health, eye exams, cataplexy, muscle weakness, muscle loss, sleepiness, double vision, blurred vision, dry eyes, twitchy eyelids, droopy eyelids, narcolepsy

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Can’t Keep Your Eyelids Open? When More Sleep Doesn’t Help

droopy eyes

The eyes are not only the windows to your soul, but also a window into many health conditions. Watch out if you have symptoms like dry eyes, blurred vision, droopy or twitchy eyelids or trouble focusing.

While the underlying reasons may be relatively harmless, such as eye strain from use of digital devices or lack of sleep, something more worrying could be developing. 

In fact, these vision symptoms have been reported as the initial symptoms of narcolepsy.

What is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy disrupts the brain’s ability to control sleep-wake cycles. Despite a good night’s rest, individuals with narcolepsy tend to feel excessively sleepy throughout the day. They may fall asleep in the middle of routine activities, such as driving or working or even eating and talking. 

Another symptom is the sudden loss of muscle tone, called cataplexy. Droopy or twitchy eyelids are a potential indicator of such muscle weakness or loss. They may be accompanied by blurred or double vision or very dry eyes. 

Other symptoms vary widely. The cause of narcolepsy is not fully understood.

While all this sounds a bit frightening, don’t become alarmed. The neurological disorder is rare. An estimated 135,000 to 200,000 people in the USA have narcolepsy, although the number of undiagnosed cases might be higher. No known cure for the disorder exists, but medication and lifestyle choices to improve sleeping habits can significantly lighten the condition and allow the individuals to live a normal life.

Droopy can be groovy

Many perfectly healthy people are born with droopy eyelids. Some celebrities and actors have even turned them into their personal trademark.

But if you’re concerned, talk to your eye doctor at your next annual check-up. Regular eye exams are the best way to make sure your eye health stays on track.

Before your eyes glaze over, allow us to make a quick plug for our affordable vision plans for individuals, families and businesses. We’ll see you there. 

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