Lorraine Helliwell – Northumberland
I have been a type-1 diabetic for 50 years and was very interested when I heard about the light-based therapy being developed by PolyPhotonix. In recent years I have received laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy in each eye and this has always been a source of concern, particularly as it can potentially lead to the loss of my driving licence. The fact that the light-therapy from PolyPhotonix is non-invasive removes this cause for concern which is fantastic as the risk of losing my licence is no longer an issue.
I live in the country and need to drive around 30 miles to get to my job as a higher level teaching assistant in a school. If I lost my licence, my husband and I would have to move house and substantially change our lifestyle. I am also a member of Girlguiding UK and being able to drive to the units I support is very important to me, not to mention the independence that being able to drive brings.
The day before I started wearing the mask, I had undergone a routine eye examination as part of the continuing support I get as a diabetic patient. After a couple of weeks, I got a letter from the department that had carried out the examination, indicating that the image showed a potential macular issue and referred me for a more detailed examination at the local eye hospital, for an appointment with a consultant. This took place around six weeks after the initial examination, during which time I wore the PolyPhotonix mask when going to bed. I would definitely recommend other people with diabetes to use the mask as at this second consultation the doctor could see no evidence of any macular issue proving to me that the Noctura 400 mask had cleared up any macular issues. I had done nothing differently over the six weeks between consultations except from wearing the mask when going to bed.
For the first couple of nights of wearing the mask I was aware that I was wearing something however, it was absolutely fine. If anything, I would go as far as to say that I sleep better with the mask on, I have not had a sleepless night whilst wearing the mask. The light levels are easy to sleep through and even if you were to open your eyes and look at the lights they are of a comfortable level to look at. I have had to make a minor adjustment to my head position whilst sleeping however it has caused me no problems. The fabric mask has caused no reactions with my skin which is brilliant as I have very sensitive skin so there was always a possibility of this happening.
The mask is easy to use and understand with very easy to read instructions for use making it simple to use at home. Once I had used it for a number of nights it just became routine to put the mask on when I was going to bed.
Over the years, I have had laser treatment in both eyes for retinopathy which solved the problem in 2000/2001, however at my check-up in early 2014 the retinopathy had worsened again. There is no contest that I would choose the Noctura 400 treatment over the laser treatment. The non-invasiveness and easy to use nature of the mask removes any traumatic experiences that occurred when having my eyes lasered. I continue to wear the mask when going to bed and would encourage anyone with diabetes and suffering from retinopathy to do the same.