Send to

Choose Destination
Eye (Lond). 2010 May;24(5):843-50. doi: 10.1038/eye.2009.212. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

Ocular findings in sleep apnoea patients using continuous positive airway pressure.

Author information

Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, City Hospital, Birmingham, UK.



To describe ocular findings in patients with established obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS) using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).


hundred and fifteen referrals investigated for OSAHS were included. Patients with OSAHS were compared with those with normal sleep study controls. Subgroup analysis for CPAP users and non-users was also carried out.


OSAHS patients (n=89) compared with the controls (n=26) had higher ocular irritation symptoms (P<0.001), abnormal tear break-up time (P<0.05) with increased upper (P<0.001) and lower (P<0.001) lid laxity. Floppy eyelid syndrome (FES) was noted in 31.5% (28/89) OSAHS patients vs 3.8% (1/26) controls (P=0.005). Open angle glaucoma prevalence in OSAHS patients (3/89, 3.4%) was similar to the controls (1/26, 3.8%) (P=0.92). Sixty-seven (75.3%) OSAHS patients were using CPAP (average duration: 19.6+/-15.3 months). All CPAP users maintained a supine sleep posture to prevent mask edge leaks. A fifth of CPAP users (14/67) had experienced earlier episodes of conjunctivitis secondary to leaks. CPAP users had similar upper and lower lid laxity (P=0.746 and 0.633) to non-CPAP users, but a better tear film (P=0.029) and less ocular irritation (P=0.134).


OSAHS patients showed increased ocular irritation, abnormal tear film, lid laxity, and FES. The prevalence of glaucoma in our series was similar to normal population data of 2%, P=0.429, and may relate to use of CPAP in majority of the patients. More stable tear film in CPAP users was probably secondary to the supine sleep postures necessarily adopted with CPAP use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center