Normal-Tension Glaucoma and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

A Prospective Study

Gorkem Bilgin


BMC Ophthalmol. 2014;14(27) 

In This Article


Background: Today, identified risk factors for normal-tension glaucoma (NTG) include abnormal ocular blood flow, abnormal blood coagulation, systemic hypotension, ischemic vascular disorders, and autoimmune diseases. However, pathogenesis of the condition remains unclear. On the other hand, there are also a few studies suggesting that the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) may compromise optic nerve head perfusion and cause glaucomatous optic neuropathy by creating transient hypoxemia and increasing vascular resistance. In this study, we evaluated the possible association between OSAS and NTG.

Methods: We recruited 24 patients with NTG and 24 age and sex matched controls who were also similar for systemic risk factors such as diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HT) and hypercholesterolemia. All patients and controls underwent over-night polysomnography (PSG) for the diagnosis of OSAS and calculation of Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI).

Results: Patients and controls were statistically similar in terms of age, sex, gender, smoking, systemic risk factors, neck circumference and body mass index. The subjects with AHI ≥ 20 were accepted as OSAS. Ten (41.7%) of 24 patients with NTG and 3 (12.5%) of 24 controls had OSAS (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The prevalence of OSAS was higher in patients with NTG and the difference between patient and control groups was statistically significant (p < 0.05).