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Bull Soc Belge Ophtalmol. 2009;(312):43-51.

Eye diseases in patients with sleep apnea syndrome: a rewiew.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium.


Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is characterized by recurrent episodes of apnea during sleep. Mechanical upper airway obstruction is by far the most frequent form of SAS, and is named obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Besides giving rise to a reduced quality of life, OSA is associated with important cardiovascular morbidity and mortality if left untreated. OSA has also been associated with several ophthalmic manifestations. The purpose of this paper is to review the most important features of OSA, and to highlight the ophthalmic abnormalities recognized in these patients. Ophthalmologists should be familiar with the possibility of sleep disorders in their patients as the cause of certain eye pathologies. The ophthalmologist can often identify a patient with OSA and refer him for a sleep study. Sleep physicians, on the other hand, should be alert for the possibility of eye disorders, inform their patients and refer them for a check up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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