How You Sleep Can Affect Your Vision if You Have Glaucoma

Which way do you sleep? Face down in the pillow? Flat on your back? On your side?

A recent study reported in the December 2013 edition of the American Journal of Opthalmology investigated the relationship between sleeping position and vision degradation in normal tension and open angle glaucoma patients. Of the 692 patients in the study, all of whom had glaucoma in both eyes, 309 of them suffered vision degradation. For the purposes of this study, vision degradation is defined as a significant loss in the visual field of one eye over the other. The results of the study suggest a possible relationship between vision field loss and sleeping on your side, as most of the patients in this study experienced more visual field loss on the side that was down when sleeping on their side. This asymmetric visual field loss occurred 66% of the time in those with normal tension glaucoma and 72% of the time in those with open angle glaucoma (the most common type)! So why take a chance! We recommend sleeping on your back!