High prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2000 Dec;78(6):638-41. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0420.2000.078006638.x.


Purpose: Elevated intraocular pressure and systemic hemodynamic changes are main risk factors in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) characterized by snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness and insomnia is accompanied by large swings in blood pressure and repetitive hypoxic periods during sleep. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there is any relationship between SDB and POAG.

Methods: Consecutively, 212 outpatients with POAG and 218 outpatients without POAG were recruited. Both eyes were examined. An interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect SDB-related symptoms.

Results: After controlling for age, relative to control group, POAG patients showed a high prevalence of snoring (47.6%, p=0.04), snoring plus, excessive daytime sleepiness (27.3%, p=0.01) and snoring plus, excessive daytime sleepiness, plus insomnia (14.6%, p=0.01).

Conclusion: We found a high prevalence of SDB in patients with POAG. Chronic hemodynamic changes and recurrent severe hypoxia resulting from SDB may contribute to anoxic optic nerve damage, implicated in glaucoma.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / complications*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / etiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires