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Sleeping with Glaucoma: Which Side is Better?

According to new research, individuals who have worsening glaucoma in only one eye are more likely to sleep with the affected side of their head facing down, and investigators noted that internal pressure is affected by the position of the eye.

In those with glaucoma, intraocular pressure often damages the nerve, which can lead to tunnel vision and blindness.

The study was published in The American Journal of Ophthalmology and looked at the sleeping patterns of 430 patients with glaucoma and visual field loss that was worse in one eye. Investigators learned that 132 individuals have a sleeping side preference and of them, 67 percent slept with the worse eye down. They also looked at habits of those with high-tension glaucoma compared to normal tension glaucoma and found that 66 percent of the latter group slept with the worse eye down while 71 percent of the former group slept that way. The researchers concluded that there's a link between asymmetric visual field loss between both eyes and a preferred sleeping position.

Patients suffering from glaucoma can benefit from senior care services by having a caregiver monitor sleep patterns to see if the individual is favoring one side over the other, and then they can make suggestions on how to alter the habit. In-home elder care can also assist those whose vision has worsened and made moving around performing daily tasks a challenge.

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