Sleep Apnea And Eye Complications

This is an old paper but worth mentioning. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been strongly linked to a number of routine eye conditions, including floppy eyelid syndrome, glaucoma, nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), and papilledema. CPAP is also known to cause eye complications (due to dryness or irritation).

Floppy eyelid syndrome is most commonly seen in middle aged obese men, typically present with easily everted eyelids, watery eyes, a sticky sensation, blurry vision, eye discomfort, and frequent conjunctivitis. It’s been estimated that 96 to 100% of people with floppy eyelid syndrome has OSA.

Also, up to 57% of those with glaucoma have OSA, and up to 27% of sleep apnea patients are found to have glaucoma. These are very high numbers. Using CPAP has been found to help with these conditions.

71% of people with NAION has OSA, and about 5 times the risk for NAION in people with OSA. There is no known effective treatment.

Papilledema causes swelling of the optic disk with a rise in intracaranial pressure. CPAP has been found to help somewhat.

All these findings are not surprising, since OSA is a systemic disease. Based on these number, it’s probably justified to screen for sleep apnea if you are newly diagnosed with any of the above conditions.

How many of you with OSA also have any of the above eye conditions?


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