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Sleep Related Blindness

1 August 2019/ Sleep Related Issues

Ischemic optic neuropathy (a sudden onset blindness) is also essentially the result of long term inflammation.  The blindness results from a thrombosis in the arteries or veins feeding the optic nerve.   This causes by a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve, the starvation and death of the nerve fibres.  Like Cardiovascular disease, the thrombosis happens due to inflammation in the blood vessels. And it's brought on in the same way other inflammatory disease is: long term stress to the organ system.  This can occur due to both long term stresses from sleep apnea (OSA) and also other forms of sleep disturbance.

Glaucoma is another condition resulting in blindness related specifically to sleep disturbance and especially OSAOSA creates hypoxia (poor oxygen conditions) in the blood. Then there are a couple of other things that also happen.  Firstly, hypoxia directly effects the optic nerve. Secondly, blood flow to the optic nerve becomes poorly regulated.  This is again caused by inflammation of the blood vessels and support tissues.  Finally there is a drop in blood pressure during OSA events.  All these factors contribute to the pathogenesis of glaucoma.

Sources

https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)60643-5/fulltext

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25928835

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23772197

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30171667

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26443989

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5bc5/3cfc3d106b36c6d0c7312b89217a1dd95f8e.pdf

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/02713683.2015.1075221?journalCode=icey20&

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