Eye HealthLifestyle Topics
Smoking and AMD
Smoking increases the risk of developing macular degeneration—quit smoking to help keep your eyes healthy.
Wait on Cataract Surgery?
An eyeglass prescription change may be all you need to improve your vision with early-stage cataracts.
Protect your sight every day
Wear a hat and sunglasses year round to prevent UV damage to your eyes.
Cozy Home = Dry Eye?
This fall and winter, when indoor heating is in use, a humidifier or a pan of water on the radiator adds moisture to dry air.
Shield Your Eyes From Allergies?
Sunglasses or eyeglasses can help prevent pollen from getting in your eyes.
What Is an Ophthalmologist?
Are You Fit at 40?
A baseline eye exam is recommended at age 40, when the signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur.
New research shows that those with sleep apnea are more likely to develop glaucoma
Over the years, several studies have demonstrated an increased rate of glaucoma among those with sleep apnea, but these studies only proved that the sleep disorder was a marker for poor health in general. New research from Taipei Medical University shows that sleep apnea itself is an independent risk factor for open-angle glaucoma.
The retrospective study took information from data collected across the population and found that those who had been diagnosed with sleep apnea were 1.67 times more likely to have open-angle glaucoma in the five years after diagnosis than those without the sleep condition.
Glaucoma affects nearly 60 million people worldwide and is the second-leading cause of blindness. If left 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.
According to the World Health Organization, 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, gasping or choking while asleep, morning headaches and persistent daytime sleepiness.
The researchers hope the study will encourage doctors to mention the increased risk of glaucoma to patients with obstructive sleep apnea and recommend treatment for those who need it. While the association between the two conditions is clear, the reasons for this connection are not yet understood.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends all adults get a baseline eye exam from an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions – by age 40, when early signs of disease and vision changes may start to occur.