Scientists have been researching a link between snoring and diabetic eye disease. They have presented research that shows severe sleep apnoea - when your breathing stops and starts during sleep - is a risk factor for diabetic eye disease that can lead to vision loss and blindness. Snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea.
Poor control of diabetes can result in damage to tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye, a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness in the UK.
In some cases, tiny bulges protrude from the blood vessels and leak fluid and blood into the retina. This fluid can cause swelling (oedema) in an area of the retina that enables clear vision and is called macular oedema.
In this study, researchers in Taiwan examined data from 51 patients over eight years at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei. They found that patients with diabetic macular oedema had a much higher rate (80.6%) of severe sleep apnoea than those without the eye condition (45.5%).