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Wellness Tip

Sleep Apnea and Diabetic Retinopathy

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you have type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea, treating the sleep apnea may help prevent diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that often causes blindness.

Many people with diabetes have sleep apnea and don’t know it; both conditions are often related to excess body weight. Those with both conditions are nearly twice as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy as those without sleep apnea, and three times more likely to progress to advanced retinopathy within four years, according to a 2017 British study of 230 people with diabetes, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Management.

The good news: Participants who treated their sleep apnea with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices were less likely to develop advanced retinopathy than those who went untreated.

Also see 5 Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea.