Prevalence of nocturnal oxygen desaturation and self-reported sleep-disordered breathing in glaucoma

Timothy V. Roberts, Chris Hodge, Stuart L. Graham, George Burlutsky, Paul Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To evaluate the prevalence of nocturnal oxygen desaturation and sleep-disordered breathing symptoms within a glaucoma population. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and twelve subjects (glaucoma=52, control=60) aged between 45 and 80 years were recruited for the study. Clinical assessment included overnight ambulatory pulse oximetry monitoring and administration of a self-reported sleep-disordered breathing questionnaire. RESULTS: There were no differences in age, sex, body mass index, or prevalence of systemic hypertension between the groups. The mean oxygen desaturation index of the glaucoma group (8.6) did not differ significantly from that of the control group (9.6) (P=0.715). The prevalence of moderate to severe respiratory dysfunction (oxygen desaturation index >20) in the glaucoma group (17%) was similar to that in the control group (12%) (P=0.463). The severity of sleep-disordered breathing symptoms was similar between the groups (P=0.157). CONCLUSIONS: No statistically significant association was found between glaucoma and either nocturnal oxygen desaturation or sleep-disordered breathing. Although this study cannot exclude the possibility of either impaired optic nerve head autoregulation or hypoxic damage occurring secondary to sleep apnea syndrome, the findings do not support the routine use of pulse oximetry in the workup of individuals with glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Glaucoma
  • Oxygen desaturation
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Sleep apnea syndrome
  • Sleep-disordered breathing


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