There are many conditions associated with sleep apnea, including depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease. But there are also many lesser-known conditions that not only can be related to sleep apnea but can help diagnose it, too.
One such condition is one called floppy eyelid syndrome. While it may not be a household name, this rare condition of the eyes occurs when the eyelid turns inside out during sleep or appears droopy during the day. Warning signs that you may have floppy eyelid syndrome (FES) also include dry eyes and itchiness of the eyes upon waking.
While it is not known why FES occurs in sleep apnea patients, the condition is most common among older men who are overweight. This is a key demographic for sleep apnea as well.
In fact, FES is so common in sleep apnea patients, it can be used by ophthalmologists to pre-diagnose sleep apnea.
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, including eyelids that roll inside out, dry or itchy eyes upon waking, you could have floppy eye syndrome – and obstructive sleep apnea. If this sounds like you.
If these symptoms sound like you, the first thing you should do is be seen by an ophthalmologist. You should also consider undergoing sleep testing for sleep apnea, especially if this is recommended by your eye doctor. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, don’t panic. There are options for treating this sleep disorder.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
There are several popular treatments for sleep apnea. One common treatment is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. The downside to CPAP is that many people find it awkward and uncomfortable and as a result do not wear their mask as prescribed. This of course renders the CPAP treatment useless.
A better solution for many patients is a custom sleep orthotic such as the kind prescribed by Dr. Mingus. These devices are custom-fit to your individual mouth and comfortably position the airway open while you sleep. They are frequently considered more comfortable than CPAP and because of that, more effective.
Do you have a sleep apnea diagnosis, or suspect you may have sleep apnea? Contact Dr. Mingus for a consultation today.