Sleep and eye disease: A review

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2022 Apr;50(3):334-344. doi: 10.1111/ceo.14071. Epub 2022 Mar 16.


There is a growing body of literature on the effects of sleep disorders, in particular obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), on ocular health, with consistent evidence of an increased risk of floppy eyelid syndrome, non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy, diabetic macular oedema, and other retinal vasculature changes in individuals with OSA. However, reports on OSA's associations with glaucoma, papilloedema, diabetic retinopathy, central serous chorioretinopathy, and keratoconus have been conflicting, while links between OSA and age-related macular degeneration have only been described fairly recently. Despite numerous suggestions that OSA treatment may reduce risk of these eye diseases, well-designed studies to support these claims are lacking. In particular, the ocular hypertensive effects of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for OSA requires further investigation into its potential impact on glaucoma risk and management. Reports of ocular surface complications secondary to leaking CPAP masks highlights the importance of ensuring good mask fit. Poor sleep habits have also been linked with increased myopia risk; however, the evidence on this association remains weak.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration; eye disease; glaucoma; sleep; sleep apnoea.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / adverse effects
  • Eyelid Diseases*
  • Glaucoma*
  • Humans
  • Optic Neuropathy, Ischemic* / etiology
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / therapy