April 27, 2020 @ 10:50 by Alison Cowie
A Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Hospital near London has found that treating the eyes of diabetic patients with the Noctura 400 eye mask – developed by North East-based PolyPhotonix – might stabilise or even improve central diabetic retinopathy changes.
During the present COVID-19 pandemic, this is perceived to help diabetic patients who find it difficult to attend retinopathy screening and eye clinic appointments.
The Noctura 400 Sleep Mask is a non-invasive and monitored home care treatment developed by the NETPark bio-photonic research company. The mask is programmed to administer a certain dose of light of a particular wavelength each night to maintain or improve diabetic eye changes and a patient’s vision.
Mr Ulrich Meyer-Bothling has been conducting a UK Government-funded study using the Noctura 400 Sleep Mask. The study showed that 94 per cent of all patients who correctly used the mask showed significant stabilisation and sometimes even improvement of the central diabetic maculopathy and vision with some patients seeing a reverse of their condition.
Current treatments for diabetic retinopathy are laser treatment and/or injections of anti-VEGF pharmaceuticals directly into the eye. These treatments require substantial clinician time and need patients to attend a hospital on a regular basis.
Government current advice is that patients with high-risk conditions should not go to hospital. This includes patients with diabetes currently receiving treatment for diabetic eye disease.
Mr Meyer-Bothling said: “It has been encouraging how well most of the patients in the study have responded to wearing the mask; I am hopeful, that the Noctura mask will become an additional tool in treating diabetic retinopathy.
Richard Kirk, chief executive of PolyPhotonix (pictured), added: “We are delighted with the results of this NHS study. They match the results of other studies that we have undertaken in other countries. They show very clearly that if a patient uses the mask then they will see improvement. The mask is unique in that it clearly tells the doctor if the patient is taking the treatment. We hope that following this study the NHS will look to adopt the use of the mask across more hospitals.
PolyPhotonix develops light therapy treatments for macular eye disease as well as other medical conditions. Independent health economists working with the NHS estimate the Noctura 400 Sleep Mask could save in excess of £300 million a year if adopted
The Noctura 400 is in use in a number of countries worldwide and clinical trials for FDA approval are already underway in the US.