Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Sleep Apnea & Diabetic Eye Problems?


If you have diabetes, did you know that having severe sleep apnea may increase your risk of developing diabetic macular edema, a complication of diabetes that can cause vision loss or blindness? Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) also appears to be more difficult to treat in patients with severe sleep apnea according to reports from researchers at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, disrupting sleep and causing blood oxygen levels to drop. This drop in oxygen appears to unleash a host of changes in the body that may play a role in injuring blood vessels. People with sleep apnea are at risk of developing hypertension, heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes. When people with diabetes have poor control over their blood sugar levels, the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye can become damaged. Sometimes, tiny bulges protrude from the blood vessels, leaking fluid and blood into the retina. This fluid can cause swelling or edema-called Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) in an area of the retina that allows us to see clearly. Researchers believe that sleep apnea may contribute to the development and worsening of diabetic retinopathy by increasing insulin resistance, elevating inflammation and raising blood pressure, all of which can damage the blood vessels at the back of the eye.

If you or someone you know is diabetic and especially if you suffer from sleep apnea, please be sure to have an annual eye exam and be tell your eye doctor that you suffer from sleep apnea as it is a risk factor Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). Please call us to schedule a diabetic eye exam at at D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, or Facebook so that we can help.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609.