When people are aware that they suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), dentists such as our team at Riverwalk Dental in Calgary can make night guards for them that will help keep their airways open. But people often do not know why they are fatigued unless there is someone who can tell them whether they snore. Now, scientists have found a new indicator of sleep apnea: floppy eyelids.
The study was small in size, but it found that 53% of people with sleep apnea also had eyelids that were rubbery or misshapen. These people’s eyelids flipped inside-out more easily, putting them at greater risk for dryness and corneal abrasions.
Scientists are unsure of why OSA is linked to floppy eyelids, although they hypothesize that inflammation is damaging the proteins that allow skin to regain its shape after stretching. For people with lax eyelids, a night guard may be a better option than a CPAP machine, since the dry air it emits can further harm their eyes. People who suspect they have sleep apnea should get assessed in a sleep center so they can determine if it is the kind a dentist can assist with.
Dr. Jared Palmer and his team operate Riverwalk Dental at 540 6th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2G 1K5, Canada. To schedule an appointment, call 1-403-456-4994 or visit Riverwalk Dental.