Researchers From South Korea Have Developed Smart Contact Lenses to Treat Diabetic Retinopathy

Researchers From South Korea Have Developed Smart Contact Lenses to Treat Diabetic Retinopathy:

  • Diabetic complications are endless, as diabetes is a long-term chronic disease.
  • Diabetes is accompanied by a higher risk of diabetic retinopathy, where the retina is damaged by high blood sugar levels.
  • Poor management can result in this problem. When not treated correctly, retinopathy can lead to loss of vision and, in the worst cases, lead to blindness.
  • Professor Sei Kwang Hahn and Ph.D. candidate Geon-Hui Lee from Pohang University of Science and Technology have partnered with Dr. Sangbaie Shin from PHI BIOMED Co. to develop a smart wearable LED contact lens that could help prevent and treat the disease at a very early stage.
  • A far-red/LED light of 120 W is irradiated to the retina via the LED contact lenses, preventing retinopathy.
  • The research team examined the innovative device on diabetic animals for an entire 8-week period.
  • Animals wearing the lenses for about 15 minutes three times a week for an 8-week period didn't develop the disease. Conversely, animals that were not wearing the lenses exhibited signs of retinopathy.
  • There is no difficulty diagnosing it. Diabetic retinopathy can easily be detected by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) through a simple test, which would monitor abnormal blood vessel growth, bleeding in the center of the eye, and swelling of the retina.
  • Cleveland Clinic reports that people with a severe cases of the condition may experience symptoms including trouble reading or recognizing distant objects, blurred or distorted vision, color blindness, poor night vision, and small dark spots.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is typically treated with two extremely painful procedures: The first is highly invasive, where repeated therapeutic injections are administered to the eyeball; in the other, after anesthesia is administered, the patient undergoes thousands of small burns made with a laser to destroy the capillaries near the retina.