• Written By: John T. Lind, MD
    Glaucoma

    The results of this retrospective study suggest that the side-sleeping position habitually preferred by glaucoma patients may be associated with greater visual field loss.

    Subjects included 692 patients with normal- or high-tension open-angle glaucoma administered a questionnaire to determine their preferred sleeping position. In patients with asymmetric visual field loss, defined as a difference in mean deviation between the two eyes of at least 2 dB, the authors compared the number of patients preferring worse- vs. better-eye dependent lateral decubitus position.

    About 61 percent of normal-tension glaucoma patients and 66 percent of high-tension glaucoma patients had asymmetric visual field loss. Of the normal-tension glaucoma patients, about a third preferred the lateral decubitus (side-sleeping) position. Of these, 66 preferred the worse eye-dependent lateral decubitus position (P = 0.001).

    Of the 121 high-tension glaucoma patients, 32 (26.4 percent) preferred the lateral decubitus position, and of these, 23 (71.9 percent) preferred the worse eye-dependent lateral decubitus position (P = 0.013).

    In all groups, the number of patients preferring the worse eye-dependent lateral decubitus position was significantly larger than those preferring the better eye-dependent lateral decubitus position.