Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness for adults between the ages of 20 and 64 in the United States. As a patient’s diabetes progresses, the blood circulation worsens and the supply of oxygen to the retina is compromised. The retina is especially oxygen-starved at night since the rods, which are used primarily when the eyes dark-adjust, demand more oxygen than the light-activated cones. In response to this ischemia, the body signals for additional blood vessels to be formed in this region, but these new blood vessels are very weak and susceptible to microaneurysms and leaking. This leaking leads to retinal edema and eventually macular edema, which destroys a patient’s eyesight.
PolyPhotonix has developed a solution that intervenes in this process by preventing a patient’s eyes from dark-adapting while the patient is asleep. The Noctura 400 Sleep Mask continuously shines light at the user’s closed eyelids. The color and brightness of this light was selected such that it successfully prevents the rods from dark-adapting but does not stimulate the patient’s cones or other photoreceptive cells. This prevents the therapy from adversely affecting the patient’s quality of sleep.
The Noctura 400 is programmed to deliver a nightly dose of the therapy to the patient for 12 weeks. Data about its usage is also collected in the mask so that a clinician can better assess the therapy’s effectiveness on a particular patient. The device is CE-approved and is currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials.
Product page: Noctura 400 Sleep Mask…