LED contact lens treatment may prevent diabetes-related blindness | New Atlas

If diabetes progresses too far, it can result in a potentially blinding condition known as retinopathy. And while existing treatments are invasive and often painful, there may be new hope in the form of an LED-equipped contact lens.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the disease damages tiny blood vessels in the eye, reducing blood flow to nerve cells in the retina, starving them of oxygen and causing them to die.

The body tries to compensate by growing new blood vessels in the retina, although the diabetes often causes these to be imperfectly formed, resulting in their bleeding and damaging the retina. That damage is repaired via the growth of scar tissue – not new nerve cells – so over time, the patient loses their sight.

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