Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sleep Apnea & Glaucoma Risk

Did you know that there is a significant relationship between glaucoma and sleep apnea? 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 and persistent daytime sleepiness. Glaucoma affects nearly 60 million worldwide.  If 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.

Researchers, reporting in the journal Ophthalmology, the official publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that obstructive sleep apnea is not simply a marker for poor health, but is actually an independent risk factor for open-angle glaucoma. Based on this finding, we want to alert obstructive sleep apnea patients of the associations between obstructive sleep apnea and open-angle glaucoma to raise the issue and encouraging treatment of those who need it.

If you or someone you know has sleep apnea and they are concerned about the risk of glaucoma and need a glaucoma eye exam they are encouraged to  schedule an eye examination at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or www.facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision is a leading Birmingham eye care practice with offices located with Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, at the UAB Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.