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Can't open eyes
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Can't open eyes

I've had a weird symptom for about five months now.  Afer waking from sleep (in the AM or in the middle of the night when I have to get up to us the bathroom), I have to struggle to open my eyes.  The right one opens after a few seconds of trying, but my left one is clamped shut for about 10 seconds or so.  When I finally can open them, I need to blink and open my eyes wide to get my eyelids to feel normal. The eyes are not stuck shut with gunk, just clamped shut by the eyelids.  I called my eye doctor and she told me to put drops in my eyes and call back in 2 weeks.  But it's almost two weeks and no change.  I'm getting worried that this is a symptom of MS or something.  Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.  Thank you.  
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Avatar_n_tn
well, yes technically 'muscle weakness' could be a sign of a neurological problem, but you'd likely have way more symptoms than just the one you described.  so no, i would not just assume 'MS', but i cant think of any eye condition that causes that symptom.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi let me ask a questiion do you pay attention if your are in a deep sleep/dream stage I know plenty of people that this has happened/happens too and they describe it the same way.  Its  noticble from heavy dreaming or deep sleep.  there is a nmae for it, but I cannot remeber.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you, doctor.  I'm seeing my eye doctor again tomorrow.  

Alchris, I know it happens often when I wake up in the middle of the night, but don't know if I am in deep sleep or what. And it happens when I wake up with my alarm clock.  But it just started happening over the past 4-5 months or so.  I have to start keeping track of how often.   I've searched the web for info on this and your comments are the first I've read of anyone else experiencing this problem.  It makes me feel better than someone else experiences it too.  I have heard that there is something that paralyzes us when we sleep so we don't run and flail away during our dreams.  I am wondering if that is what is occuring to me, but that it takes a bit for it to wear off.  Thanks for your feedback and anything else you can add would be appreciated.    
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi the only other advice I can offer is to try and go to a sleep lab and get tested to see if they come up with anything its a start if no one else seems to be helping.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, my opthamologist diagnosed it as Benign Essential Blepharospasm.  Basciallly the muscles around my eyes are in spasms which I can't really feel but she can see when she looks in my eyes.  She recommended I try an herbal supplement called Kava Kava which is a muscle relaxer and has shown good results.  Another doctor came in to discuss the possibility of botox injections in the spasming muscles.  Don't think I want to do that....yet.  But I read that this is a progressive disease and it may be something I'll have to pursue in the future.  The Kava Kava has actually worked though!  But I'm also taking xanax and lexapro because this whole thing has thrown me into a mild depression.  I'm a worrier and it just spun me out of balance.  But the "cocktail" of those three things has stopped the problem of not being able to open my eyes.  So nice to just wake up and open my eyes again.  Thanks for your help on this.    
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Avatar_n_tn
     I have had these same symptoms for at least 5 years.  Have been told (by friends) that it might be dry eyes,  that I use eye drops too much,  and of the 4 or 5 doctors that I have mentioned it,  none had an answer or had even heard of my symptoms.

     Both my eyes stay shut when I wake up, usually during the night or in the morning.  If I take a short nap during the day, it does not happen.  They will stay shut as long as 20 minutes sometimes.  Sometimes just a minute or two.  If I try to forse my eyes open,  it feels like I am ripping my eye, or something is poking it.  And usually when they do open,  it burns and waters for a while.  

     I am so glad to finally see a name for it.  I will give this information to my doctor!
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, stuck eyelids was started.
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