Dry eye

By jigsaw Latest Activity October 19, 2011 at 9:07 am Views 5,044 Replies 11 Likes 5


I suffered with dry eye for a few years. The cause was two fold. In some cases, my mask was leaking air that caused my eyes to dry. Additionally, the air from the exaust from my mask was rebounding from my pillow back to my face and drying my eyes. My eye problem was getting progressively worse. Eye drops and lubricants helped, but the problem continued. The solution was so simple that I almost have to laugh. I got a sleep mask (simply a piece of padded material that goes over both eyes and is held in place by an elastic band). My cpap mask fits right over it. NO MORE DRY EYE!!! The problem is completely eliminated. Sleep masks are available at Walmart and many pharmacys for a few dollars. Less expensive than eye drops and they last much longer!!

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Replies (11 replies)

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  • abowerstafford
    abowerstafford April 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm   

    My husband doesn't have OSA but he does have dry eyes, as well as 'gunk' in his eyes in the morning and throughout the day (r/t dry eye). Apparently there is something called 'Floppy Eyelid Syndrome' (we thought that was a joke at first!) that causes your eyelids to loosen from your eyeballs during sleep, hence the dry eye. The only thing that helped was taping his eyelids shut, but there was no tape we could find that didn't make his skin raw, and a sleep mask didn't help either. For now he is living with it and using an eyewash and drops throughout the day, but it is driving him crazy.

  • jigsaw
    jigsaw April 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm   

    I am not familiar with this condition. There is one thing that comes to mind. I used an eye gel designed for evening use during sleep. It has a somewhat thick gooey consistency and worked well for me. It's made by Baush & Lomb and it's called Soothe PM. Should be available in many pharmacies. Maybe it will help to reduce his eye discomfort during the day. Sorry I can't offer anything additional.

  • abowerstafford
    abowerstafford April 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm   

    He has tried that and other ointments and gels at night. They help with the dry eyes but not with the mucus and other 'gunk' and that is more troublesome to him. Right now he's using the eyewash in the morning, and drops during the day, and for now he is ok — or at least he's not whining as much! Thanks.

  • gatp
    gatp April 20, 2012 at 10:29 am   

    I have found that wetting the soft plastic of the face mask seals it better. I have been doing this and using Blink drops at night and no more problem. It is worse in dry states like Colorado. I I never liked sleep masks because rhey make me feel compromised. I also hate the noise od my C-Pap and wish I had a silent one. I just feel compromise when hearing or sight are interfered with.

  • jigsaw
    jigsaw April 20, 2012 at 10:52 am   
    Edited April 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm by jigsaw

    Hello gatp
    I have since switched masks to a ResMed Quattro! This is a double seal full face mask. I no longer need eye drops, or an eye mask! Apparently all air leaks have been eliminated. The quattro fits me better, seals better and is more comfortable. No more dry eye and no additional paraphernalia needed to correct dry eye. Apparently there were air leaks taking place as I was sleeping, that I was not aware of. These were in addition to the air leaks that I was able
    to detect and correct while awake.

  • edvel54
    edvel54 October 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm   

    I am going to have to try that..My eyes get so dry and nothing seems to help Thanks

  • jigsaw
    jigsaw October 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm   

    Yes, I had the same problem! If you get a sleep mask, make sure its not to thick as in heavily padded. A thin mask will not interfere with your cpap. They do come in various degrees of padding.

  • Tracy
    Tracy October 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm   

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information!
    Another tip is - find a mask that does NOT leak! Mask fit and adjustment is so very important. No mask, properly fitted should leak…

    another interesting note is - some people sleep with their eyes slightly open! I never knew this. I was discussing the dry eye problem with a sleep doctor one day and said to him, how can a person experience dry eye from mask leak when their eyes are closed when we sleep?

    So - there ya go, if you are trying to figure out why you have dry eye from cpap use! Could be that you are one of those people who sleeps with their eyes slightly parted open! Heck, we don't really know WHAT we do in our sleep, do we! So if you are curious about this - ask your bed partner…do you, or don't you!


  • jigsaw
    jigsaw October 20, 2011 at 7:41 am   

    I did eliminate the leaky mask problem by changing the mask cushions more frequently, back in time. The dry eye problem still existed when ever I slept with the cpap that no longer leaked. I found out by lying with my cheek pressed into my pillow (while I was awake) there was enough air turbulence blowing back in my face from the air vent on the mask to cause the dry eye. I suspect there are additional complications that cause my eyes to become irritated such as allergies, but the cpap was definitely the major contributor.
    Thankyou for much of the info that you have contributed! I have utilized some of it with favorable results.

  • YourCpapHelper
    YourCpapHelper October 20, 2011 at 12:17 am   

    Howdy! - I can pass on a tip if Dry Eyes are caused by: "A mask that's the closest I can get to fit and still leaks!" A lot of my patients get relief by supplementing their mask seal with a product called Remzzz Mask Liners. Here's a link to their site and I hope it helps you!

  • gatp
    gatp April 20, 2012 at 10:31 am   

    Wet your mask cushions slightly. This works.

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