Do you snore at night? What does this have to do with your eyes?

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Potentially dangerous health disorder in which the breathing stops periodically throughout the night. Nearly 1 in 4 men and 1 in 10 women have sleep-disoriented breathing.

5 common eye-related sleep apnea side effects are:

♦️Floppy Eyelid syndrome : Patients often wake up with scratchy or irritated eyes and some mucus discharge as well.

♦️Glaucoma : sleep apnea is a risk factor for glaucoma.

♦️Nonarteritc anterior ischemic optic neuropathy: loss of blood flow in the optic nerve. 70 to 80% of patients with NAION have been found to have OSA.

♦️Papilledema: optic disc swelling which can be very dangerous and can cause blindness.

♦️Retinal Vein Occlusion - It occurs when there is a blockage in a vein that supplies blood and oxygen to the retina.

Most individuals who have this condition use CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices to help them maintain a steady stream of air. Some people who use CPAP machine also complaint of dry eyes especially in the morning. 

Sleep Apnea and Dry Eyes

One of the most common causes of dry eye among CPAP users is due to air leak. You wear your mask close to your nose and eyes. An air leak in this close proximity to your eyes can result in instantaneous drying of the eyes and plenty of discomfort for the wearer.

What can you do?

If you think you have dry eyes in the morning and  you wear a CPAP mask at night, you can use thicker artifical tears or night time ointment. Check with your eye doctor for specific brand recommendations. 

There are also night time goggles that can help create a seal around your eyes so leaked air doesn't cause dryness to your eyes.

If you have sleep apnea make sure to let your eye doctor know!


Cascade Vision Center

4300 Talbot Road Suite 400

Renton, WA 98055




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