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Keywords:

  • CPAP;
  • glaucoma;
  • normal-tension glaucoma;
  • sleep apnoea

Abstract

Glaucoma is increasingly recognized as a manifestation of both ocular and systemic risk factors. A number of disorders associated with reduced blood flow and ischaemia, collectively termed vascular risk factors, such as migraine, Raynaud's phenomenon, atrial fibrillation and reduced nocturnal blood pressure, lead to decreased ocular perfusion pressure. During sleep, alterations occur in cardiovascular physiology that are balanced by autoregulation to maintain homeostasis. However, in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), the normal physiological balance is upset. A potentially modifiable risk factor, OSA has been increasingly associated with glaucoma independent of intraocular pressure. OSA may alter blood flow to the optic nerve head and, in combination with other predisposing factors, lead to decreased ocular perfusion pressure. This in turn may directly affect the optic nerve or it may indirectly increase its susceptibility to other insults. The purpose of this review is to shed light on the association between OSA and glaucoma.