Sleep Apnea Increases Glaucoma Risk

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sleep Apnea Increases Glaucoma Risk

What do sleep apnea and your risk of developing glaucoma have in common? Researchers, reporting in the journal Ophthalmology, the official publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that obstructive sleep apnea is not simply a marker for poor health, but is actually an independent risk factor for open-angle glaucoma. The relationship between the two conditions is significant, given the large numbers of people worldwide who suffer from them. Based on this finding, we want to alert obstructive sleep apnea patients of the associations between obstructive sleep apnea and open-angle glaucoma to raise the issue and encouraging treatment of those who need it.

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that blocks breathing during sleep for more than 100 million people worldwide. In obstructive sleep apnea, the airway becomes blocked, causing breathing to stop for up to two minutes. Symptoms include loud snoring and persistent daytime sleepiness. Glaucoma affects nearly 60 million worldwide.  If untreated, glaucoma reduces peripheral vision and eventually may cause blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Only half of the people who have glaucoma are aware of it because the disease is painless and vision loss is typically gradual.

If you or someone you know suffers from sleep apnea they should be diligent in having eye exams and glaucoma evaluations as they are at greater risk for open angle glaucoma. Please call Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.