Nav: Home

Why apnea patients are prone to suffer from glaucoma

July 21, 2016

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.
-end-


Hokkaido University

Related Glaucoma Articles:

Long-term statin use associated with lower glaucoma risk
A new study brings the connection between statin use and risk of glaucoma into sharper focus.
Health burden of glaucoma has risen worldwide
The health burden of glaucoma has continuously increased around the globe in the past 25 years, according to an Acta Opthalmologica study.
UAlberta scientists first to pinpoint a cause of pigmentary glaucoma
An international team of researchers has identified a gene responsible for the onset of pigmentary glaucoma, which may lead to new therapies for the condition.
Using EHR-linked medication reminders for glaucoma patients
Mobile device reminders have been associated with better medication adherence and linking reminders to patient electronic health records (EHRs) could potentially allow some oversight by clinicians.
Traditional glaucoma test can miss severity of disease
The most common test for glaucoma can underestimate the severity of the condition by not detecting the presence of central vision loss, also known as macular degeneration, according to a new Columbia University study.
More Glaucoma News and Glaucoma Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...