Over time, numerous studies have brought to light the overwhelming effects of sleep apnea and snoring on the body. Newer studies have proven that there exists a relation between sleep apnea and the recurrence of certain eye disorders among individuals. If left untreated, sleep apnea can become complicated and cause adverse effects on the vision and other crucial systems of the body too, such as the cardiac system and respiratory system.
According to the various studies, it has been revealed that common eye disorders like floppy eyelid syndrome and glaucoma occur more in individuals suffering from sleep apnea. Besides, Obstructive Sleep Apnea has also been known to aggravate many of the eye disorders. Some of the common eye disorders linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea are described below.
Glaucoma is one disorder directly linked with sleep apnea. It is a common eye disease and the key reason for vision loss on a majority of individuals. Glaucoma occurs mainly due to the damages in the optic nerves because of increase of pressure inside the eyes. For a person with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the oxygen entering the lungs is less, which can result in a decrease of oxygen reaching the optic nerves. This can result in damages to the optic nerves thus affecting vision.
Yet another eye disorder linked to sleep apnea is papilledema. It is seen mostly in individuals suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Papilledema can result in the optic disc to become swollen thereby resulting in vision loss. During sleep apnea, the concentrations of CO2 in the blood will increase that can cause the blood vessels to become dilated. This can result in an increase in pressure that can lead to optic disc swelling.
Floppy Eyelid Syndrome
Floppy eyelid syndrome is yet another eye disorder linked with sleep apnea. This condition causes the development of large and floppy eyelids in individuals that can turn inward or outward during sleep. This can affect the lubrication of the eyes, cause irritation, redness, and discharge. It is more seen in individuals having Obstructive Sleep Apnea and obesity, and leaving it untreated can cause serious vision problems.
Minimizing the effects of sleep apnea on vision is possible by addressing the root cause of the disorder by using devices like a snore guard. These devices can decrease the occurrence of sleep apnea thus causing minimum interference with the vision and eyes. Using anti snoring devices like a sleep apnea snore guard is a better alternative than a Continuous Position Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine as CPAP mask can negatively affect eye health as well. However, it is recommended to consult an ophthalmologist immediately if any such eye issues occur.