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PolyPhotonix Got Mentioned on DailyMail

How a British-made facemask could help 60,000 patients avoid eyeball injections to prevent diabetic sight loss while saving the NHS £240M a year

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Michelangelo Biasiucci, 64, from London, who has been wearing the mask for three years. The professional driver was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy four years ago after noticing his night-time vision was deteriorating while at work.

“When I was driving at night the glare was unbearable. That problem’s gone. It’s been a savior. I would say that the mask has given me my life back – not only can I see so much clearer, but it has enabled me to carry out my job safely again.”

The Noctura 400, a mask developed by PolyPhotonix, which uses a specific wavelength of green light to halt further damage and help the body repair the eyes, has been used by Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey to treat patients with diabetic retinopathy. This common side effect of diabetes occurs when high blood sugar levels cause serious damage to the retina. Patients with more advanced diabetes tend to have narrower, weaker blood vessels, incapable of meeting the required oxygen demand, and the body grows more blood vessels to serve the retina which are weak with thin walls, causing fluid leakage and damage to the surface of the retina. This mostly happens at night when the body tries to adapt to the dark by increasing the demand for oxygen in the eyes. The mask tricks rod-shaped cells that provide our night-time vision into remaining in their daytime state so the eyes do not crave oxygen and grow more leaky blood vessels. A recent trial showed that 42 out of 48 patients who had worn the mask each night for a year experienced a significant improvement in their vision, and none of the volunteers went on to need sight-saving injections. Those who kept wearing the mask retained good vision, while it deteriorated in those who did not. The mask is a more comfortable, less risky, and less expensive treatment than injections directly into the affected eye, costing around £4,000 for a typical patient who will require six jabs a year.

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