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Sleep Apnea and Your Eyes

Sleep apnea is the involuntary cessation of breathing during sleep. It affects over 18 million Americans today and puts them at risk for other life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic has found that sleep apnea also has a strong connection with the eyes. The experts at Beach Eye Medical Group are well aware of the devastating effects that sleep apnea can have on the eyes. This is why they are committed to helping sleep apnea clients living in Huntington Beach and Irvine keep their eyes healthy!

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Eyes

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep apnea that is characterized by the relaxing of throat muscles that eventually lead to the blocking of the airway. When left untreated, repeated air deprivation can lead to the development of diseases that affect the circulatory system, such as hypertension. When the circulatory system is compromised, the supply of oxygen and nutrients to vital organs is also affected.

Being a highly vascular organ, the eyes are dependent on a steady supply of blood and nutrients. Beach Eye Medical Group has successfully treated many sleep apnea clients living in Huntington Beach and Irvine, California. Our well-trained doctors and healthcare team have helped them minimize the effects of OSA in their lives.

The optimal way to prevent sleep apnea from affecting your eyes is to see your ophthalmologist as soon as you get an OSA diagnosis. A visit with one of our expert eye care professionals can help prevent complications such as:

Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma
There is a strong correlation between sleep apnea and glaucoma since the former is caused by high pressure within the eye. Studies have found that the severity of the glaucoma is directly related to the duration of apnea episodes in patients with OSA.

Sleep Apnea and Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION)
Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION) is the sudden, painless loss of vision in one eye. Surprisingly, researchers have found that up to 80% of patients diagnosed with NAION also have sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Papilledema
Papilledema is the swelling of the optic nerve. It is caused by an increase in the pressure within the skull and if unchecked, may lead to blindness. Papilledema is also a common finding among patients living with OSA.

How to Prevent Sleep Apnea from affecting your Eyes

Glaucoma, NAION and Papilledema are just some of the serious eye conditions that can stem from mismanaging your sleep apnea. Beach Eye Medical Group has seen hundreds of patients with sleep apnea and helped them stay on top of their eye health. Located in Huntington Beach and Irvine, CA, Beach Eye Medical Group is managed by well-trained ophthalmologists and surgeons and is equipped with the latest technology and equipment in the field of eye care.

Living with sleep apnea can be dangerous to your health. This is why it is important for you to get in touch with our professionals and set-up an appointment today. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Written by Dr. Shah


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