Getting a Full Night's Sleep for Healthy Eyes

 

 

 Getting Enough Sleep?

We all know that getting enough sleep is important for overall health and well-being.  From blood pressure to emotional mood to weight loss, sleep is a vital part of our lives.  Many of us do not get nearly enough, and our health can suffer because of it.  

How much is enough?  The Mayo Clinic reports that adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night for optimal health (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/how-many-hours-of-sleep-are-enough/faq-20057898).  Many of us do not reach this threshold, and it can have some impacts on our bodies- including our eyes.

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep apnea is a big culprit for eye problems.  It occurs when the soft pallate collapses during sleep, which reduces oxygen flow.  This can lead to a myriad of eye conditions including optic neuropathy, glaucoma, floppy eyelid syndrome, and retinal vein occlusion. It can even lead to resistance in recovery from age-related macular degeneration (F. Lowry, Untreated Sleep Apnea Interferes with Treatment for AMD, Medscape, May 28, 2012.).  Many of these conditions can lead to irreversible vision loss.

Eye Strain

Most of us are on devices for some part of our day (and some for almost all of their day).  Getting a good, restful sleep can allow our eyes to recover from all that screen time and for the focusing muscles to relax.

Eye Twitching

Have you ever had an eyelid twitch that won't go away no matter what you do?  Ocular myokymia is a benign (albeit annoying) condition where the upper or lower eyelid twitches for short intervals at a time.  It can last a few weeks to a month. Typical causes for this condition include not getting enough sleep, too much stress, and too much caffeine.

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