an irregular sleep pattern It’s not just harmful to the body, as a new study links it to the development and progression of glaucoma. The study, published in BMJ Open journal, analyzed the association between sleep behaviors and glaucoma. The cohort study based on data from the UK Biobank between 2006 and 2010 of more than 400,000 people aged 40 to 69 years, studied their diagnosis of glaucoma.
The research indicated that, compared with people who had a healthy sleep pattern, an excess risk of any glaucoma was observed among people with snoring and daytime sleepiness (HR 1.11, 95 percent, CI 1.03 to 1,19) or insomnia and brief or prolonged sleepiness. sleep duration (HR 1.13, 95 percent, CI 1.06 to 1.20), but no late-chronotype sleep pattern (HR 0.98, 95 percent, CI 0.93 to 1.03).
The study went on to observe that snoring, during the day drowsiness, insomnia and short/long duration, individually or together, were associated with the risk of glaucoma. “These findings underscore the need for sleep intervention for people at high risk of glaucoma, as well as possible ophthalmologic evaluation among people with chronic sleep problems for glaucoma prevention,” the research mentioned.
This is what you need to understand
According to experts, glaucoma is called the silent thief of sight because there may be no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. “This condition threatens vision and has been known to gradually steal sight without warning. By the time glaucoma is detected, the patient has already undergone extensive peripheral vision damage that can no longer be restored,” said Dr. Mahipal S. Sachdev, president of the Center for Sight in a previous interaction.
Adding, Dr. Rohit Pahwa, Senior Consultant Eye Surgeon and Medical Director, InstaVision Eye And Lasik Center, New Delhi said that “the risk of glaucoma increases with sleep deprivation or insomnia“. “Optic nerve damage related to eye pressure, known as glaucoma, first affects peripheral vision before spreading to the center, slowly causing vision loss,” he said. indianexpress.com.
Seven to eight hours a day, on average, is the amount of sleep most people should get. “Anything outside of this range could be too little or too much sleep,” Dr. Pahwa said, adding that sleep bad is caused by irregular work schedules, staying up too late, watching too much TV before bedtime, drinking coffee before bedtime, and eating too late or close to bedtime, which can lead to heartburn and disrupt sleep patterns .
Sleep apnea is associated with the recurrent drop in oxygen level while one sleeps. “This is one of the triggers for glaucoma in susceptible individuals. The recurrent drop in oxygen level can also lead to neovascularization which further increases the risk of glaucoma,” said Dr. Ravi Shekhar Jha, Director and Chief of Pulmonology, Fortis Hospitals, Faridabad.
Although the exact cause is unknown, people who have sleep apnea “may be up to 10 times more likely to develop glaucoma.” “It is still essential to see a doctor for any sleeping problems”, added Dr. Pahwa, further stressing that routine examination by an ophthalmologist is important “because the damage to sight caused by glaucoma can be prevented through early detection and timely treatment”.
Dr. Rajat Goyal, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Ujala Cygnus Rainbow Hospital, Agra, stressed the need for ophthalmologic evaluation and urged people to avoid depression and anxiety through regular exercise and yoga, “as these disorders go hand in hand with insomnia, which can increase internal ocular pressure”.
How to prevent/reduce the risk?
The only way to reduce the risk is to control sleep apnea. As Sleep apnea is primarily associated with a high body mass index, losing weight is the first and most important step in managing it, Dr. Jha said.
“However, if someone is diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s difficult to control weight unless treatment is started. Also, maintaining sleep hygiene is of paramount importance in managing sleep apnea. Be sure to monitor your sinus symptom, if applicable. Their sleep schedule it should be more or less fixed,” said Dr. Jha, as she shared some remedies:
*Try to keep a gap of at least two hours between your last meal and bedtime.
*Nope caffeinated drinks at least four hours before bedtime. No screen time two hours before bed
*Avoid protein supplements two hours before bedtime