Review of Optometry: The Optometrist and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Although several types of sleep-disordered breathing exist, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is certainly the most common and the most publicized. The condition is caused by a complete or partial anatomical upper airway collapse that temporally restricts or obstructs breathing, often in a cyclical pattern. The reduction of breathing is hypopnea, the cessation of breathing is apnea. This respiratory disruption reduces blood oxyhemoglobin saturation and impacts blood pressure, heart rate, sympathetic activity, metabolic activity and sleep. It elevates an individual’s risk for hypertension, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and stroke. OSA is also associated with several ocular conditions, from the anterior to posterior segment and impacting a wide range of structures from the tear film to the optic nerve. Read More