New Diabetic ‘Eye Mask’ Treatment

New Diabetic ‘Eye Mask’ Treatment

WHEN Lorraine Helliwell went for her annual diabetic eye check-up, she was disappointed to hear she might need another round of laser surgery because of the retina damage that is a common feature of the condition.

Helliwell, a teaching assistant from Morpeth, Northumberland, feared she would lose her driving licence, which is vital for her and her husband. “We live in the country and I need to drive about 30 miles to get to my job. If I lost my licence, we would have to move house and substantially change our lifestyle,” said Helliwell.

Fortunately she had heard of a new light-therapy treatment developed by PolyPhotonix, a tiny company in Sedgefield, Co Durham. After wearing its light-therapy mask for a few weeks, she was relieved to hear that her eyes had improved.

PolyPhotonix is a research and development company dealing with how light can interact with human tissue or Biophotonics. One of the main benefits of using optical techniques which make up biophotonics is that they preserve the integrity of the biological cells being examined. The PolyPhonics, ‘Sleep Mask’ is currently under investigation by the NHS and is hoping for NICE approval for diabetic eye treatment in the near future. It could have great benefits for patients and the NHS offering greater flexibility of treatment, eg at home, and cost savings to the NHS.

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