Patients were assessed for diabetic retinopathy using specialist retinal imaging, while OSA was diagnosed using a home-based cardiorespiratory portable device. The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was higher in those with OSA at 42.9% than those without the condition (24.1%).
Follow-up appointments more than three years later found that patients with OSA were more likely to develop moderate to severe retinopathy. The longitudinal research found that 18.4% of patients with OSA developed this level of severity, compared to 6.1% of patients without the condition.
The study also found that patients who received treatment for OSA with a machine designed to unblock the airways during sleep had a lower chance of developing advanced diabetic retinopathy compared to patients who did not receive the therapy.
Study author, Dr Abd Tahrani, said “clinicians should consider testing type 2 diabetes patients for OSA. It is important that clinicians treating patients with type 2 diabetes are aware that their patients who also have OSA are particularly at increased risk of developing advanced retinopathy and, hence, appropriate preventative measures should be put in place,” he emphasised.
When children breathe through their mouths during the day chances are that they also breathe through their mouths at night. Mouth breathing at night is directly connected to altered levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood stream. When less oxygen is able to reach the brain, learning and the ability to focus at school becomes a problem for many children.