Prevalence of primary open-angle glaucoma among patients with obstructive sleep apnea

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2018 Sep;126(3):226-230. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2018.01.021. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Objective: Our objective was to determine primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) prevalence among obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients because the perioperative environment risks further damaging the optic nerve.

Study design: We analyzed a "convenience sample" referred by Sleep Medicine for oral appliances because of continuous positive airway pressure intolerance. We determined the aggregate prevalence of the 3 POAG subtypes-"classic" open-angle glaucoma (COAG), normal-tension glaucoma (NTG), and open-angle glaucoma suspect (OAGS)-among the index population and compared it with that of same hospital's general population. Similarly determined were associations between OSA severity levels (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI]) and POAG subtypes.

Results: Among the study sample of 225 patients with OSA (96.4% male; mean age 58.5 ± 12.3 years), 47 (20.9%) had POAG, with a subtype distribution of COAG: 12 (25.5%), NTG: 8 (17.0%), and OAGS: 27 (57.4%). The POAG prevalence rate among medical center's general population was 2.5%, which was significantly less (P < .00001) than among those with comorbid OSA. Severity of the breathing disorder (AHI) failed to identify a significant correlation to any POAG subtype (P > .05).

Conclusion: The significant prevalence of POAG among OSA sufferers suggests need for preoperative consultations from an ophthalmologist to determine eye health and possibly an anesthesiologist to avoid potential vision loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*