Poor sleep could be an early warning sign of vision problems.

Researchers from Hokkaido University have been the first to measure the eye pressure of sleeping patients with obstructive sleep apnea. They discovered an unexpected correlation with glaucoma. Glaucoma results when the optic nerve in the eyes sustains damage caused by increased eye pressure. This causes a restricted visual field. People with sleep apnea are at much greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This research has shown they are also 10 times more likely to develop glaucoma.

Sleep apnea affects more than 42 million Americans. It is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing many times throughout the night. It can cause a person to snore loudly during their sleep, and that’s how it’s often first detected. However, it is still possible to have the condition and not snore. Other common indicators of sleep apnea are daytime fatigue, high blood pressure and headaches.

When a person with sleep apnea stops breathing, they develop what is known as hypoxia. This just means a deficiency of oxygen. The researchers discovered that hypoxia of the optic nerve can damage it and result in a heightened risk of glaucoma.

Fortunately a lot can be done to improve sleep apnea. It is more common in people who are overweight (particularly in their upper body), people with blocked sinuses and nasal passages, and those who drink alcohol in the evenings. Sleep apnea is usually a manifestation of syndrome X. Improving syndrome X can bring about a significant improvement in sleep quality. Use of a CPAP machine can do wonders for improving sleep quality and reducing the risk of associated diseases.

Berberine is a herbal extract that helps to improve insulin sensitivity, reverse syndrome X, and therefore is an excellent remedy for those with sleep apnea.