Some individuals with severe cases of dry eye choose not to open their eyes because there is little or no tear film protecting the surface of the eye. Even the slightest breeze, like that caused when you wave your hand in front of your face or close a cabinet door, can cause extreme pain or discomfort. Blinking more than once or twice also causes extreme discomfort. These individuals cope by keeping their eyes closed, which is more of a behavioral sign than an eye symptom.
For others, the eye lids may be stuck to the eye, making it physically difficult to open the eye. Sometimes the eye lids may be crusted and glued together, making it difficult to open the eyes.
Whenever there is a foreign body sensation or other discomfort in the eye that is sharp, severe, or chronic, it can be difficult to keep the eyes opened.