Years of research have shown that sleep apnea truly impacts all aspects of our lives as well as our health. The condition has been linked to numerous health problems, such as obesity, failing cardiovascular health, low testosterone and even an increased risk of dementia. As research continues to prove that sleep apnea negatively impacts the body all over, it is no shock that a recent study has linked sleep apnea as a cause of normal tension glaucoma.
The study determined that patients who were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were at a higher risk of suffering from normal tension glaucoma, a condition that occurs when the optic nerve is damaged without the existence of high pressure in the eye. Normal tension glaucoma can cause vision loss which can be temporary or permanent.
After testing 247 subjects who displayed symptoms of sleep apnea, 209 of them were diagnosed with OSA after undergoing a sleep study. Each subject was also tested for IOP, central corneal thickness, corrected visual acuity, automated visual field testing, retinal nerve fiber layer status, as well as a funduscopy and a gonioscopy. After these tests, it was found that 12 of the subjects had normal tension glaucoma, and each of them also had OSA. Out of these 12 subjects, normal tension glaucoma was more common in those diagnosed with moderate or severe OSA.
A New Possible Link
While the research is not able to solidify a connection between normal tension glaucoma and sleep apnea, researchers urge doctors to consider a possible link between the two health conditions. Because any type of glaucoma can lead to partial or complete vision loss, immediate treatment is vital.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, now is the time to get the treatment you require. With the help of Dr. Siegel, you can sleep better at night as well as protect your overall health. To get started, call or email Dr. Siegel’s office today!