Sleep Disorders and the Eye

November 2008
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Nov2008, Vol. 83 Issue 11, p1251
Academic Journal
During the past decade, associations between sleep disorders and certain ophthalmologic disorders have been increasingly recognized. To review the literature on these important associations, we conducted a PubMed search using combinations of the following terms: sleep disorders, sleep apnea, circadian rhythm disorder, continuous positive airway pressure, eye disease, floppy eyelid syndrome, glaucoma, ischemic optic neuropathy, papilledema, nocturnal lagophthalmos, and vision loss. We limited our search to articles published in English that involved human participants. All available dates were included. One of the most common sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, has been associated with a variety of eye diseases, including glaucoma, nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, floppy eyelid syndrome, papilledema, and continuous positive airway pressure-associated eye complications. Nocturnal lagophthalmos manifests during sleep and is defined as the failure to fully close the eyelids at night. Finally, blindness is associated with increased risk of circadian rhythm disorders. On the basis of the existing published literature, we discuss these rarely recognized associations, potential pathophysiologic mechanisms, and the effect these associations have on the clinical management of patients. The knowledge of these associations is important for the primary care physician, ophthalmologist, and sleep physician so that underlying sleep disorders or ophthalmologic disorders can be detected.


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