Scientists have successfully measured the eye pressure of sleeping patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome for the first time, finding an unexpected correlation with glaucoma.
This study shows that the optic nerve could be damaged due to hypoxia without a spike in eye pressure, a finding that could help unravel the details of glaucoma sufferers with normal eye pressure levels.
Scientists at Hokkaido University have successfully measured the eye pressure of sleeping patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome for the first time, finding an unexpected correlation with glaucoma.
Glaucoma is thought to be a disease in which the optic nerve sustains damage due to increased eye pressure, resulting in a restricted visual field. In addition to strokes and cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, people with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) are prone to suffer from glaucoma at a rate about 10 times higher than non-OSAS sufferers.
However, it has been technically difficult to continuously measure eye pressure in sleeping subjects. To address the problem, the team employed a special sensor akin to a contact lens to monitor pressure changes when OSAS patients' breathing repeatedly stopped during sleep.
Normally, intrathoracic pressure is known to rise if people stop breathing (exhaling), resulting in higher eye pressure. The study found unexpectedly that the eye pressure dropped when subjects stopped breathing. The subjects tended to stop inhaling, not exhaling, due to airway closure, which should lead to lower intrathoracic pressure. The subjects also experienced hypoxic effects, as cessations in breathing cause blood oxygen saturation levels to drop, possibly triggering optic nerve damage that can lead to glaucoma.
The study shows that the optic nerve could be damaged due to hypoxia without a spike in eye pressure, a finding that could help unravel the details of glaucoma sufferers with normal eye pressure levels.
Updated August 31 2017
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Learn how mouth breathing, especially during the first 20 minutes of light sleep, can delay the onset of deeper sleep that is vital to restoring the body and mind. Conversely, nasal breathing helps to calm the mind ready for going to sleep and will not disrupt your sleep during the night. Avoiding anything that interrupts your sleep will ensure you spend more time sleeping and less time trying to get back to sleep.
Research has indicated that there is a higher incidence of early facial ageing and skin dryness amongst mouth breathers. Learn how to control mouth breathing and improve your skin and sleep quality.
Find out how chronic mouth breathing affects children's development. From facial deformities to insomnia and ADHD, learn how mouth breathing needs to be recognised early in childhood to avoid lasting and detrimental effects.