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    How sleep affects the ocular surface

    Insufficient or poor sleep may play role in ocular health


    The PSQI measures the quality and patterns of sleep in older adults by measuring seven domains. It consists of 19 individual items generating seven component scores:

    • Subjective sleep quality

    • Sleep latency (i.e., how long it takes to fall asleep)

    • Sleep duration

    • Habitual sleep efficiency (i.e., the percentage of time in bed that one is asleep)

    • Sleep disturbances

    • Use of sleeping medication

    • Daytime dysfunction

    This validated questionnaire differentiates “poor” from “good” sleep.

    Furthermore, patients may suffer from a number of sleep disorders. These include:

    • Dyssomnias (such as insomnia, hypersomnia, and sleep apnea)

    • Parasomnias (disorders characterized by abnormal or unusual behavior of the nervous system during sleep such as sleepwalking and REM behavior disorder)

    • Sleep bruxism (nocturnal tooth grinding)

    • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders

    A 2009 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey disclosed that adults who reported sleeping less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night were more likely to have difficulty performing many daily tasks.10

    Related: The connection between dry eye and eyelashes

    Combating sleep disorders

    The CDC recognizes insufficient/poor sleep as a public health problem, especially since the CDC surveillance of sleep-related behaviors has increased in recent years.

    Additionally, the National Academy of Medicine encouraged collaboration between the CDC and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research to support development and expansion of surveillance of the U.S. population’s sleep patterns and associated outcomes.11 The National Sleep Foundation offers suggestions to enhance patients’ sleep patterns—including the promotion of regular, healthy sleep habits.12

    Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO
    Director of Optometry, New York Hotel Trades Council, Hotel Association of New York City, Health Center, Inc.


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    Optometry Times A/V