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Higher Glaucoma Risk For Sleep Apnea Sufferers

Researchers in Taiwan have discovered that people with sleep apnea have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

| August 13, 2013 | Health

Asian Scientist (Aug. 13, 2013) – Researchers in Taiwan have discovered that people with sleep apnea are far more likely to develop glaucoma compared to those without the sleep condition.

Glaucoma is an eye disorder that reduces peripheral vision if untreated, eventually leading to blindness. However, only half of the people who have glaucoma are aware of it, because the disease is painless and vision loss is typically gradual.

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that blocks breathing during sleep. 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.

In this study, published in Ophthalmology, the researchers examined the prevalence and risk of open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, among patients with the most common form of sleep apnea.

By analyzing data from around 1,000 patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and around 6,000 people without sleep apnea, the researchers found that sleep apnea sufferers were 1.67 times more likely to develop glaucoma.

“We hope that this study encourages clinicians to alert obstructive sleep apnea patients of the associations between obstructive sleep apnea and open-angle glaucoma as a means of raising the issue and encouraging treatment of those who need it,” wrote the authors of the study, led by Dr Herng-Ching Lin at Taipei Medical University.

The article can be found at: Lin et al. (2013) Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Increased Risk Of Glaucoma: A Population-Based Matched-Cohort Study.

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Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology; Photo: martingarri/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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