Could how well you sleep be affecting your eyes?
A recent study shows diabetic with severe sleep apnea are at higher risk of treatment-resistant diabetic macular edema, a complication of diabetes that can cause vision loss or blindness.
So, the answer could be “yes” if you fall under the category listed above, someone with not only diabetes but also sever sleep apnea. This study is one of many that are starting to show that sleep apnea seems to be connected to vision issues. A condition that can amplify this is an individual who is diabetic. If they are unable to gain control over their blood sugar levels, the tiny vessels in the back of their eyes become damaged, diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness in the US currently. Any time an individual has high blood pressure, this tends to be a risk for their vision. That is because the blood vessels in the back of the eye are so small and sensitive to this type of change.
The reason these two diseases together can be an issue is because sleep apnea is a disorder in which an individual stops breathing. This is scary. It also drops oxygen levels. This can lead to a ton of issues. One, which you may have guessed, is depriving the eyes of the appropriate oxygen levels again injuring blood vessels. This isn’t just related to eye disease. It seems studies have linked sleep apnea with the risk of hypotension, heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Although this is super scary, what is scarier is not addressing this issue. If you have diabetes or sleep apnea it is imperative, you are getting your vision checked regularly. Also, insure you are getting dilation and optos, or retinal imaging. This will help your vision care provider see those blood vessels and start treatment if there seems to be an issue.
Both of these diseases can be addressed, and the affects minimized, but you have to schedule an eye exam to get started! Call us today!