Apnea Patients Should Keep an Eye Out for Glaucoma

by: Amy Jacob
Successfully measuring the eye pressure of people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) indicated to scientists for the first time a relationship between sleep apnea and glaucoma.   Specifically, research from Hokkaido University showed that OSA patients were nearly 10 times more likely than non-OSA patients to suffer from glaucoma – optic nerve disease triggered from increased eye pressure.   To effectively measure eye pressure in sleeping subjects, the research team used a special sensor similar to a contact lens to assess the pressure changes when OSA patients’ breathing stopped during sleep.   Typically, intrathoracic pressure rises if people stop breathing/exhaling, leading to higher eye pressure.   However, during their research, the team unexpectedly found that the eye pressure dropped when study participants stopped breathing. These patients also were likely to stop inhaling, not exhaling, as a result of closed airways, triggering lower intrathoracic pressure………
See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/apnea-patients-should-keep-an-eye-out-for-glaucoma#sthash.gPR37qWU.dpuf
Source: MD
About Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, which is the specialized light sensing tissue, to the brain so we can see. In glaucoma, eye pressure plays a role in damaging the delicate nerve fibers of the optic nerve. When a significant number of nerve fibers are damaged, blind spots develop in the field of vision. Once nerve damage and visual loss occur, it is permanent.Most people don’t notice these blind areas until much of the optic nerve damage has already occurred. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in older people. Early detection and treatment by your ophthalmologist are the keys to preventing optic nerve damage and vision loss from glaucoma. (1)
Source:  (1) Kellogg Eye Center http://kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/glaucoma.html

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