[Legitscience] – According to a recent UK Biobank study that was published in the journal BMJ Open, snoring, excessive or insufficient sleep, and daytime sleepiness may all be linked to an increased chance of getting glaucoma, a disease that results in permanent sight loss.
The findings emphasize the value of sleep therapy for people who are at high risk of developing the condition. Also, eye screenings for people who have chronic sleep disorders to look for glaucoma’s early warning symptoms.
A group of eye conditions known as glaucoma have the potential to harm the optic nerve, which transmits visual data from the eye to the brain. It is frequently brought on by elevated intraocular pressure, which over time can harm the optic nerve.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, especially among the elderly. By 2040, an estimated 112 million individuals would likely be affected by glaucoma, one of the main causes of blindness.
The causes and contributing factors of this condition, which is characterized by progressive loss of light-sensitive cells in the eye and optic nerve injury, are still poorly known. But glaucoma can develop into irreversible blindness if it is not treated.
The researchers contend that targeted screening of high-risk groups may be more economical than general population screening. Additionally, earlier studies have provided evidence that sleep disturbances may be a significant risk factor.
The researchers set out to determine the risk of glaucoma among patients with various sleep patterns. This includes insomnia, excessive or insufficient sleep, night or morning chronotypes (‘owls’ or ‘larks’). Also, daytime sleepiness and snoring, in order to better investigate these concerns.
Participants in the Study [ These Lifestyles Could Cause Permanent Sight Loss ]
They used information about the sleep habits of 409,053 UK Biobank participants. This Participants were all between the ages of 40 and 69 in 2006–10 when they were recruited.
Sleep duration was defined as normal (7 to less than 9 hours/day) and as too little or too much, outside this range. Chronotype was defined according to whether the person described themselves as more of a morning lark or night owl. Insomnia severity—trouble falling asleep at night or frequent waking—was classified as never/sometimes or usually, whereas subjective daytime sleepiness was categorized as never/rarely, sometimes, or frequently.
8690 cases of glaucoma were found during an average surveillance period of slightly over 10.5 years. In comparison to those without the condition, those with glaucoma tended to be older, more likely to be men, lifelong smokers, and to have high blood pressure or diabetes.
The other four sleep patterns/behaviors, with the exception of chronotype, were all connected to varying degrees of increased glaucoma risk. Long or short sleep durations were linked to a 20% increase in daytime sleepiness. 12% increase in insomnia, a 4% increase in snoring, and an 8% increase in risk.
Snorers and those who reported daytime sleepiness also had a 10% higher risk of glaucoma than those with a healthy sleep pattern. Insomniacs and those with a short/long sleep duration pattern had a 13% higher risk.
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The findings were similar when grouped by different types of glaucoma. Since this study is an observational one, causality cannot be determined. The study’s authors recognize that it only represented one point in time and relied on self-reporting rather than objective measurement. They add that glaucoma may affect sleep patterns on its own, rather than the other way around.