The Role of Sleep in Maintaining Eye Health

The American Sleep Apnea Association is tireless in reminding everyone how important it is to get enough sleep. At least five hours of quality sleep is necessary for good health. Adequate slumber is especially important for eye health. Here are the details about the connection between sleep and good optic health. 


It Prevents Eye Irritation


Inadequate nighttime sleep often results in bloodshot, dry, and itchy eyes. The irritation that develops may give way to serious eye infections. It could also trigger light sensitivity or blurry vision. You may experience eye spasms or twitches. Studies reveal that your eyes self-heal while you sleep. This also happens to the rest of your body. That is more reason to ensure a restful sleep at night.


It Keeps Dry Eye Disease (DED) From Worsening or Occurring


Sleep scientists reveal that DED can occur because of any disturbance in the balance of your tear film layer. This disturbance can lead to eye discomfort, swelling, and pain. It can affect your general quality of life. 

Statistics show that the occurrence of inadequate sleep in DED patients can go up to 40%. Poor sleep quality can worsen your dry eye symptoms by decreasing quality tear production. Proper sleep can prevent your DED from worsening. It may also prevent DED. 


It Maintains the Proper Oxygenation of Your Eyes and Surrounding Structures


Certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, leads to low blood oxygenation. Decreased oxygen levels in the blood can result in improper tissue repair and injuries. Research shows that if you have sleep apnea, you have a higher risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. Low blood oxygenation also slows down your body’s healing. This makes it easier for your immunity to weaken. If this happens, you can develop more diseases, including those that target your eyes. 


It Prevents the Onset of Different Eye Diseases


Studies reveal that improper sleep can weaken your body’s defenses. This can lead to the development of eye diseases. Here are some of them:

  • Floppy eyelid syndrome is common in obese individuals. This condition causes the eyelid to remain open when there is mechanical stress while sleeping. 

  • NAION or nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy often happens in people with sleep apnea. It is acute and painless vision loss when you wake up in the morning. This type of blindness is nonreversible. But treating sleep apnea may prevent NAION vision loss in the other eye. 

  • Papilledema may be linked with an increase in venous blood flow or idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Interrupted breathing from sleep apnea can increase the carbon dioxide in your blood. This can lead to high blood pressure, which can trigger the swelling of your optic disc. 

  • Glaucoma can develop from sleep apnea. Studies reveal that people with this sleep condition have a high risk of developing open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. 

Getting regular quality sleep can help keep your eyes healthy. At Lakhani Vision Care, we work with our patients so they can achieve better optical health. Feel free to visit our clinic in Marietta, Georgia, for an in-person consultation. Please call 770-509-9932 to set an appointment or learn more about the connection between sleep and eye health.

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