After 30 years of type 1 diabetes, I developed retinopathy in both of my eyes. In 2016, I was informed that my right eye was requiring some treatment for proliferative disease. I was concerned and afraid, but I decided to pursue any options besides laser treatments. I searched medical journals, research papers, and was on a quest. In my search, I discovered medical journals that explained how dark adaption in individuals with long standing diabetes is problematic. The eyes need massive amounts of oxygen and nutrients at night. Yet, for eyes that have ischemic changes, the retina doesn’t receive enough of this at night. Ultimately, this lack of oxygen leads to proliferation. Therefore, preventing the eyes from dark adapting during sleep could be helpful in preventing retinopathy from progressing.
It was at this point that I discovered PolyPhotonix and the Noctura 400 eye mask. I decided to fly on a plane from the USA, met with the medical team, and I began using the mask every night. The team at PolyPhotonix is incredibly helpful and kind. The mask had a gentle light, faded as I fell asleep, and slowly began helping. I have not missed a night wearing the mask in over 7 years.
My eye doctor follows me every 3-4 months and while I have needed rare treatment with injections, I have gone 12-24 months in between any treatments. This has been fantastic news as I have avoided any serious progression of retinopathy. In addition, I have seen long term periods of stability. Appointment after appointment, I am told things are stable, mild, and follow up in 3-4 months. The mask does help, and it is a subtle yet powerful treatment towards retinopathy.
I was the first person from the USA to travel to England and use the Noctura 400 mask, but I am not the last. Joining with Patrick McCrosson, who started a Facebook social media group, DIY Retinopathy Solutions, many others are not needing to suffer. The protocol of stable and normal blood sugars, excellent nutrition and supplementation, and Noctura 400 eye mask has given hope to an enormous amount of people with diabetes. I will always be grateful to PolyPhotonix and look forward to a bright future with my family.