A recent study found that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increases a patient’s risk of developing optic neuropathy (ON), regardless of comorbidities. The study also found treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) does not reduce the risk.

Researchers evaluated the records of one million patients from the Taiwan National Health Insurance program. OSA patients had a 1.95-fold higher risk of developing ON compared with non-OSA patients in each age group. Male patients and those older than 45 faced the highest risk.

Researchers found that, contrary to expectations, OSA patients treated with CPAP were at a higher risk of developing ON. Those who received treatment had an adjusted 2.31-fold higher hazard of developing ON compared with controls, while those who did not undergo treatment had an adjusted 1.82-fold higher hazard.

The study concludes that further research using large population studies and medical records is necessary to clarify the role treatment plays in the increased risk of ON.

Sun MH, Liao YJ, Lin CC, et al. Association between obstructive sleep apnea and optic neuropathy. Eye (Lond). April 26, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].