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Dr. Stan
Dr. Stan, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2701
Experience:  Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
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My problem is excessive tearing when I first wake up in the

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My problem is excessive tearing when I first wake up in the morning. I have to keep wiping them for about a full hour. By mid morning it seems to stop. Sometimes I also have some "fogginess" in my eyes right when I wake up but that goes away pretty quickly. My dad has sjogrens disease and I am worried that this could be an early warning sign. Any thoughts on this? Besides that, I feel great. I am 42 years old. Thanks!

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Excessive tearing with occasional fogginess upon waking up suggest that your corneas get relatively dry at night, possible due to mild exposure, and therefore upon waking up the cornea dryness stimulates the glands to produce more tear to compensate for the dryness. This can be seen in Sjogren's disease, however, there is constant dryness in Sjogren's because the tear glands are not making tears at all, and so the dryness is all the time, in contrast to your situation, which gets better as the day progresses.

Therefore, it's unlikely that you have Sjogren's disease. However, it is likely that you may be experiencing slight incomplete closure of the eyes during sleep which exposes your cornea, with resulting dryness. In addition, your eyelids/lashes dust/particles collected through the day may be depositing in the eye at night, causing irritation and poor tear production.

To resolve this problem, I suggest that you clean you eyelids/lashes at night (if you are not already doing so), start using preservative free tear drop, such as Refresh Plus or Genteal drop, 2-4 times a day as needed during the day time, and then at bedtime, apply the Refresh gel or Genteal gel into each eye to prevent drying of your cornea. You may decide to start only with the gel at night if affordability of these drops become an issue. They can be purchased over the counter without prescription. In the future, I would suggest that you plan to see your eye doctor for a test of the tear production called Schmirer's test, in order to assure you, and address any other concern. I trust that you will do well with the above advise.

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