eye health

Glaucoma and sleep apnea: is there a relationship?

Recent medical research, published by the journal Ophthalmology ("Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Increased Risk of Glaucoma"), highlighted a possible link between obstructive sleep apnea syndrome ( OSAS ) and glaucoma, particularly in its normal pressure variant . This particular form of open-angle glaucomatous neuropathy can cause vision loss and damage to the optic nerve, although the intraocular pressure remains within the normal range.

The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is notoriously considered a risk factor for cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases; glaucoma would be due to alterations in blood flow at the level of the optic nerve caused by repeated apneic episodes.

The authors of the study, in particular, found a higher incidence of normotensive glaucoma among subjects suffering from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, suggesting an association between the two conditions. However, further studies are needed to confirm these data; in the meantime, people suffering from OSAS can be advised to undergo periodic eye checks.