Obstructive sleep apnea and optic neuropathy: Is there a link?

Clare L. Fraser*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Over the last decade, there has been an emerging interest in the link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and ocular health. Though the evidence for OSA playing a role in cerebrovascular disease risk seems clear, the same cannot be said for optic neuropathies. The association between OSA and glaucoma or non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) has been postulated to be secondary to direct hypoxia or mechanisms of optic nerve head vascular dysregulation. Papilledema and increased intracranial pressure have also been reported in OSA and are thought to be due to increased cerebral perfusion pressure and cerebral venous dilation secondary to hypoxia and hypercapnia. This article reviews the evidence for possible pathophysiological links between OSA and optic nerve pathology. The epidemiologic and clinical evidence for an association, direct or indirect, between OSA and glaucoma, non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), and papilledema or idiopathic intracranial hypertension is presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number465
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


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