If you have sleep apnea, you already know how hard it is to get a good night’s sleep. Couple that with the many dangerous risks of sleep apnea, adding insult to injury. Sleep apnea can cause or worsen many medical conditions, including diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, depression, and even some cancers. But did you know it can also take its toll on another precious part of your body? That’s right. According to a new study, sleep apnea can also cause damage to your eyes.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to wake repeatedly throughout the night due to an obstructed windpipe. As your body struggles to breathe, you wake frequently, gasp, and choke for air, causing a snoring sound. Lack of air can also cause low blood oxygen levels, leading to other dangerous medical problems.
Now, researchers have revealed that sleep apnea can also damage your eyesight. Here are just a few conditions of the eyes that you may experience due to sleep apnea.
Glaucoma: Remember those drops in blood oxygen levels? Well, they can also cause glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition caused by increased pressure in the eyes that damages your optic nerves. The optic nerves connect your eyes to your brain.
Unfortunately, traditional CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy can also cause glaucoma, so getting regular eye exams is imperative if you suffer from sleep apnea.
Retinal Vein Occlusion: Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is called “eye stroke.” It’s caused when the small veins of the retina become blocked. A recent study found that among 114 patients with RVO, a whopping 74 percent had undiagnosed sleep apnea!
Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: Better known by its acronym, NAION, Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy is caused when the blood flow to the optic nerve is reduced. This somewhat painless condition causes noticeable vision loss. In a study, nearly 80 percent of participants with NAION also had obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Floppy Eyelid Syndrome: Floppy Eyelid Syndrome, or FES, occurs when the upper eyelid enlarges. This condition causes everything from redness to irritation, blurred vision, and eye discharge. Studies have found that a staggering 90 percent of FES patients have sleep apnea!
More Eye Conditions include central serous chorioretinopathy, keratoconus, and papilledema.
Protect your precious vision. Don’t let your sleep apnea go untreated. If you’re nervous about CPAP therapy, don’t let that hold you back from getting the relief you deserve. Speak to Dr. Abelar today about an orthotic sleep device that can open your airway while you sleep without the use of potentially dangerous machinery.