The Relationship between CPAP Usage and Corneal Thickness

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PLOS ONE, vol.9, no.1, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087274
  • Journal Name: PLOS ONE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a correlation between CPAP usage and corneal thickness in patients with sleep disordered breathing. Full-night polysomnography (PSG) recordings were collected. Ten patients had undergone PSG recordings with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and seven patients had undergone PSG recordings without CPAP. We measured corneal thickness by ultrasonic pachymeter before sleep and ten minutes after waking. We also measured visual acuity with a routine ophthalmologic eye chart before and after sleep. We asked patients to fill out a post-sleep questionnaire to get their subjective opinions. In the without-CPAP group, corneal thickness increased significantly during sleep in both eyes (left, p = 0.0025; right, p<0.0001). In the with-CPAP group, corneal thickness did not increase significantly (p>0.05 for both left and right cornea). There was no significant difference in visual acuity tests (p>0.05 for both left and right eye) between the two groups. According to our results, there is a significant increase in corneal thickness in the without-CPAP group. Our data show that a low percentage of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep may cause an increase in corneal thickness, which can indicate poor corneal oxygenation. In fact, many sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) patients have low REM. Since a contact lens may cause low corneal oxygenation, SDB patients with contact lenses should be monitored carefully for their corneal thickness.