Ask Dr. Beach: When I sleep, where do my eyes go?

It’s sleep time.   Do you know where your eyes are?

For 25% of the population, your eyes go absolutely no where.  Kind of boring, but they stay put once your eyelids call it a night.     But, 75% of the population  have Bell’s phenomenon.   This is a normal mechanism by which the eyes roll up and out when the eyelids close.

In a sense, Bell’s phenomenon is a protective mechanism because it keeps the very sensitive and very important front part of the eye (cornea) from injury or irritation.    This comes in handy for people who may have incomplete eyelid closure when they sleep.   But it’s very beneficial in stroke patients who’ve lost the ability to close their eyelids, but still retain Bell’s phenomenon.

Can you figure out if you’re in the 25% without or the 75% with Bell’s phenomenon?