This study sought to identify the magnitude and the possible risk factors of ocular complications in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).


A hospital-based cross-sectional study with a nested case-control design was conducted. Qualifying study subjects were patients who had been diagnosed with moderate to severe OSA (AHI index of ≥ 5, n=80), and control subjects (n=20) who had an AHI index of ≤ 5 (“normal”). Study participants were recruited from Mansoura University Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Clinic in Mansoura, Egypt.Selected subjects were assessed for ocular complications at Mansoura Univerity Hospital Ophthalmic Center, (Mansoura), Egypt. An ophthalmic history was recorded, and opthalmic testing was carried out. The testing included unaided visual acuity measurement, refraction, best-corrected visual acuity measurement, slit lamp bio-microscopic evaluation of the anterior segment and anterior segment photography, dilated fundus examination, intraocular pressure measurement, fundus photo, and fluorescein angiography, and visual field assessment. Various tests of OSA symptoms were also monitored, including the AHI, lowest oxygen concentrations and desaturation index plus the overall severity index. .


It was found that OSA patients n=28 (35%), n=24 (30%), n=4 (5%) had senile cataract, normal tension glaucoma, and retinal ischemia, respectively, with an overall prevalence of 45%. Additionally, the OSA group had seven times greater risk (OR=7.36, 95%CI: 1.6-33.86) of vision-threatening disorders compared to the controls. OSA patients were observed to be at a greater risk of senile cataract 28 (35%), normal tension glaucoma 24 (30%), retinal ischemia 4 (5%) and conjunctival hyperemia and dry eye (OR=3.77, 95%CI: 1.02-13.95, OR=4.36, 95%CI: 1.26-17.08). Also, multivariate logistic regression analysis testing showed that the lowest oxygen saturation index was the only significant predictor negatively associated with vision-threatening disorders (OR=0.84, 95%CI: 0.75-0.93).


The risk of vision-threatening and non-threatening ocular disorders is higher among OSA cases. The lowest oxygen saturation index was the only significant predictor of vision-threatening disorders. These findings support the recommendation that a full ophthalmic examination should be carried out on patients with confirmed OSA.

Keywords: Eye, Desaturation, Glucoma, Intraocular pressure, Vision disorders, Hypoxia.
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