Tired eyes, constantly. Any ideas why?
September 12, 2009 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Constantly tired eyes. Why?

I can wake up in the morning and maybe 30 minutes later have tired eyes. This can last all day. My eyes will force themselves closed frequently.

It can happen in my left or right eye (or both). My right eye is affected most and at night I sometimes put my hand over it to enable to me to read in comfort.

Some days I have it. Other days not.

Some important facts: These are NOT dry eyes, or itchy eyes, or scratchy eyes. In fact, more often than not there are tears in my eyes. It literally feels like tired eyes. Imagine how it feels at the end of a long day. IT's just like that. Except it can kick-in 30 minutes after waking from a good night's sleep.

I went to the doctor and he tested for thyroid trouble, and even myasthenia gravis, and some other stuff (they took about five vials of blood!). Everything came back OK. He's discharged me but I intend to go back and argue my case. In the meantime, any help would be useful.

It should be said that I have rather googly eyes (hence the test for thyroid issues). This might have become more pronounced over recent years, but has always kinda been there. Additionally, my right eyebrow droops a little compared to my left, but this also comes and goes, and has been there for years.
posted by humblepigeon to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should have added that I have slight astigmatism in my right eye, but not enough for glasses.
posted by humblepigeon at 9:59 AM on September 12, 2009

Are you getting good consistent sleep?
posted by mmascolino at 10:15 AM on September 12, 2009

Response by poster: > Are you getting good consistent sleep?

Yes, of course. That's the first thing I thought about.

But that's a good way of summing up how it feels -- imagine waking up after only four hours sleep. Those tired eyes (after the phrase of initially REALLY tired eyes when you're just opening your eyes)... That's how it feels for me.
posted by humblepigeon at 10:30 AM on September 12, 2009

I know you mentioned that your eyes aren't dry, but I had this recently and started using these drops. They helped me:
posted by asuprenant at 10:32 AM on September 12, 2009

Mild allergies? My eyes start to feel really shitty and "tired" if I'm in an area with some sort of airbone irritant.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:14 AM on September 12, 2009

I get this semi-regularly, and it seems to be related to window blinds and having light coming in around the edges, or so I think, because if I try to sleep in under such conditions its much worse.

For me it is the kind of thing that is easily regulated, except I've been on the move and staying in different hotels, motels and friends' places all summer, so I keep having to adjust.

Check if light filters directly onto where your head is when you sleep.
posted by mannequito at 11:29 AM on September 12, 2009

Here's a trick I use to relax my eyes before I go to sleep. It's especially helpful when I've been using a laptop or reading a book before nodding off. Might not help you at all though.

Clench every muscle in your body (especially the head/face) quite tightly, not tightly enough to give yourself a brain haemorrhage or anything, but quite tightly. Then... release.

I can't remember where I heard/read this, but it's something to do with tricking the involuntary eye muscles into a relaxed mode.

If anyone knows anything about this trick I'd love to find out more.
posted by SebastianKnight at 11:59 AM on September 12, 2009

The fact that your eyes are teary rather than dry suggests an allergy or a reaction to an irritant. You can try a non-drowsy OTC antihistamine and see if that helps. If your regular doctor hasn't come up with any answers for you, go see an optometrist. There are lots of new products and techniques for dealing with allergy eyes (and eye strain, which your symptoms also suggest) that your regular doctor might not be aware of.
posted by amyms at 12:18 PM on September 12, 2009

You said the problem isn't dry eyes because your eyes are frequently full of tears. That's a symptom of dry eyes -- your eyes are too dry so eventually your tear ducts are overcompensating by producing more tears.

When you visited the doctor (you didn't say what kind of doctor), did they test your tear production? (A small paper strip placed in your lower eyelid.) You may want to investigate that further.
posted by jca at 12:32 PM on September 12, 2009

Check the airflow in your room. If you have forced air heat (and especially if you also have central air going in the summer) this might be drying out your eyes. There are vent covers that can change the flow; make sure it gets directed away from the head of your bed.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 1:13 PM on September 12, 2009

IANAD, but I do have Blepharitis, and this sounds like Blepharitis.

It's irritating and doesn't go away but it doesn't mean or result in any serious harm. The only systems are dry and irritated eyes (which often tear up a lot). Trying holding a hot, wet flannel over your eyes during your morning cleaning routine - then gently wipe outwards with the flannel to clean your eyes. It makes things a lot better for me.

But ask your doctor about it, because IANAD, and it could be something else entirely.
posted by WPW at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2009

Systems = Symptoms.
posted by WPW at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2009

Could be bleph or allergies. The new shit for bleph is a combo drop-- mild steroid and mild antibiotic-- that you use before bed. No compresses required. Allergies, there are antihistamine drops.

Hie thee to the ophthalmologist, OP.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:17 PM on September 12, 2009

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