Not a lot of people know that diabetes also affects one’s eyes. Research has shown that through the use of smart LED contact lenses, they would be able to treat and even potentially prevent eye disease from happening.
Scientists Treat Diabetes-Caused Retinopathy
According to the story by SciTechDaily, diabetes has remained one of the most well-known diseases and can improve the risk of retinopathy. The disease is long-term chronic and can also require lifelong care.
For context, retinopathy is the disease of the retina, which can lead to blindness at worst and decline vision at best.
In light of the disease, Professor Sei Kwang Hanh and Ph.D. Candidate Geon-Huiu Lee led a POSTECH research team in collaboration with Dr. Sangbaie Shin of PHI BIOMED Co. to deal with this issue.
How the Smart LED Contact Lenses Treat the Eyes
The scientists and doctors were able to develop a sort of wearable smart contact lens that can prevent diabetic rinopathy. Aside from prevention, it is also reportedly able to treat the disease “in its early stages by irradiating 120 µW far red/LED light to the retina,” as also detailed on Science Daily.
The smart LED contact lens has already gained a lot of attention when it comes to other ophthalamologic disease as a potential treatment. The current way of treating diabetic retinopathy is still considered “highly invasive” and also very tedious.
How The Usual Process of Treating Eyes Work
The process involves the eyeballs receiving repeated therapeutic injections or small burns that are made with laser. These burns or injections are made near the retina’s edges under anesthesia.
Despite the application of anesthesia, the procedures reportedly still cause the patient extreme pain. The researchers worked on studying diabetic animal models and found out that, with the use of the smart contact lenses for the span of 15 minutes thrice a week for a total of 8 times a week, the diabetic retinopathy did not appear on those animals.
Smart Contact Lenses Tested on Animals Showed Positive Results
Other animals that did not wear the lenses showed signs of retinopathy. A histological analysis of both the cornea as well as the retina also confirmed the smart lenses safety and effectiveness.
As per the leader of the study, Professor Sei Kwang Han, the results show that smart lenses are a feasible solution for applications when it comes to not just heart rate, ophthalmologic disease, and oxygen saturation monitoring but also to help treat neuronal disease, depression, insomnia, and more.
The scientists are remain optimistic that the future use of the smart LED lenses could allow them to treat other diseases aside from just diabetis-caused retinopathy. Professor Han details more of his plans in an article by MPO-Mag.
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Written by Urian B.
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