New research from Taiwan finds that sleep apnea patients have a high likelihood of developing nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). The team performed a retrospective analysis of 8,488 patients with the condition and 33,952 controls to evaluate the rate of NAION development in each of the two groups.

The researchers evaluated patient records dating as far back as 1996 and continued to check in on these patients’ health insurance records until 2013. They found that, overall, 0.36% of the sleep apnea patients developed the optic neuropathy. However, only 0.2% of patients without sleep apnea developed NAION. This statistically significant difference was maintained even when multivariants were taken into account, according to the Acta Ophthalmology publication.

Sun M, Lee C, Liao Y, Sun C. Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy and its association with obstructive sleep apnea. Acta Ophthalmol. August 31, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].