Is Sleep Apnea A Risk Factor For GLAUCOMA? –
Sleep apnea is a common disorder characterized by multiple, brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. This can be lead to some functional impairments while the patient is awake.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a more severe type of sleep apnea that is characterized by brief interruptions of breathing.
OSA increases the risk for heart disease and can also cause hypertension and worsening diabetes. OSA has also been associated with daytime sleepiness, which can lead to automobile accidents.
Sleep apnea causes poor blood flow to many organs in the body, including the eye. For years doctors have been concerned that patients who suffer with sleep apnea may develop eye issues, mainly glaucoma or cataracts. A new study shows that this is indeed the case.
This recent study, published in the EYE journal, showed that over 26% of patients with severe sleep apnea developed glaucoma. That is more than triple the normal rate of developing the disease. It further showed that patients with sleep apnea severe enough to require a CPAP or breathing machine at night had an even higher risk for developing glaucoma.
So if you, or someone you know, suffer from sleep apnea it is important to get the eyes examined. Early diagnosis and proper treatment of glaucoma can prevent vision loss. The doctors here at Omni Eye Specialists are specially trained to diagnose and treat this potentially blinding condition.