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Eye-Opening Study: Relationship Between Glaucoma and Poor Sleep


In April 2019 American Academy of Ophthalmology announced the results of almost 3 years’ study on more than 6,700 people over the age of 40 which confirmed associations between glaucoma and sleep problems.

Duration of sleep, difficulties in falling asleep and frequency in waking up during the sleep time, sleep apnea and taking sleep medications are assessed through a survey during the study period. Through evaluation of comprehensive outcomes of survey, researchers affiliated with Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University emphasis that “Whether sleep dysfunction is a byproduct of glaucoma or a risk factor for it still needs to be resolved, but this study addresses some interesting questions”:

  • ® Either sleeping more than 10 hours or less than 3 hours per night could endanger optic nerves to Visual Field defects more than 3 times, in comparison with participants who sleeping 7 hours a night(norm).
  • ® Risk of glaucoma will be doubled if participants have delayed sleep phase disorder, in both nine minutes or less and in 30 minutes or more. Average time to fall asleep should be between 10-29 minutes.
  • ® Participants who suffer from difficulty remembering things due to daytime sleepiness were prone to higher risk of visual field loss.

“We already know that doctors should talk with their patients about the importance of healthy sleep for good overall health. With studies like this, we can add that glaucoma may be related to sleep health issues,” says Dr. Boland, MD, PhD, one of the study’s authors.