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Barbara Parfitt – Colchester, Essex

“But, I was already doing everything right. I have a good diet, I walk 20 miles a week and I check my blood sugar.”

I already have hearing loss as a result of diabetes so there were worries about losing sight as well.

The sleep mask gave me hope at a very bad time. I had worried out losing vision and not being able to drive or even read a book. You naturally have fears about that loss of freedom.

Since starting to wear the sleep mask, my optician has noticed that both eyes have improved. It’s given me hope that the deterioration in my eyes has been arrested.

I was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 30 years ago. I had been feeling very unwell. I was a nurse, so I knew exactly what it was, but I just didn’t want to hear the diagnosis.

When I was first diagnosed, I had to inject insulin morning and night, along with eating carbohydrates at a certain time of day. I now have an insulin pen, which has given me much more freedom.

I’m already dependent on hearing aids as a result of diabetes. I was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy five years ago. My consultants said that if my eye condition did worsen, the damage already done was too close to the optic nerve, so they would only inject if they really had to.

I’ve since had laser treatment and injections in the right eye, but nothing at all in the left, other than the mask. I’ve been told there has been improvement in the left, which has given me hope that the sleep mask is working.

When you go for check-ups as a diabetic, you’re told to improve your lifestyle to improve your control of the condition and stop it deteriorating. But, I was already doing everything right. I have a good diet, I walk 20 miles a week and I check my blood sugar.

My fear was that I was already doing everything I could to help myself and my eyes were still getting worse. To have this preventative treatment, which could stop further eye damage, is a huge relief.

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