Waking up first thing in the morning with red swollen eyes is understandably a cause for concern for many people who worry that they may be suffering from some kind of condition affecting their eyes. It is a common reaction then to panic and to spend the day worrying about the condition of your eyes. However to do so is really unnecessary much of the time, and swollen eyes really are not necessarily a serious problem and there are many potential causes for them, a lot of which are nothing to be concerned about.
Often for example, red and swollen eyes in the morning are simply a sign of allergies or dry eyes. If you have hay fever then there's a good chance that you could suffer from your allergic reaction throughout the night and that this could cause you to have red and itchy eyes and potentially running eyes in the night. This can be worsened if you rub your eyes in your sleep a lot which of course you will have no memory of.
Another potential cause is 'floppy eyelid syndrome' which causes your upper eyelids to more easily flap open, particularly when you rapidly move your head. Something like sleep apnea or sneezing in the night could cause you to move your head and result in your sleeping with your eyes open.
Either of these problems are conditions that do not require medication, but will simply require lifestyle changes to make living with them more comfortable. For example you might try using eye drops to make your eyes more moist, or keeping your windows closed use getting air conditioning to combat allergies.
Of course in some cases the problem might simply be that you have caught something in your eye, rubbed it too hard, or hurt it some how. If this is the case then the eye should heal itself and you should find that they return to normal after a couple of days. Your eyes might also be in pain as a result of a temporary allergy – perhaps to a new detergent – so try swapping things around to see if it makes any difference and remember that allergies can develop even when you have not had them previously.
In other cases you might find your eyes have simply become infected and it is common for an infection of the staphylococcus virus (the virus that causes MRSA) to infect the eyes. The redness and itching that follows is a reaction from your eye (they have their own little 'immune' systems) trying to rid itself of the infection. A doctor can treat this infection with a course in antibiotics which you should follow diligently.
Of course in some cases your eyes could be symptomatic of a more serious condition, such as heart disease or kidney problems. As such it is a good idea to get yourself checked out my a doctor if you show no improvement after a short time.