An estimated 103.12 million people worldwide had diabetic retinopathy (DR) in 2020. Diabetes mellitus causes elevated blood sugar that can lead to blocked blood vessels, frequently affecting the eyes. DR is a complication of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes that interferes with blood supply to the back of the eye, known as the retina. Over time, DR causes eye tissue damage and abnormal growth of new blood vessels. Mild symptoms may not interfere with vision, but advanced cases can result in blindness. 

The innovative Noctura 400 sleep mask provides a non-invasive treatment for diabetic retinopathy using organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Similar to common LEDs, which emit light when electric current runs through an elemental semiconductor, OLED technology generates light using thin layers of conductive organic compounds. Nocturna 400 is designed as a life-long tool for patients with DR to complement, rather than replace, other treatments. It produces green light. The light therapy stimulates blood flow to keep the retina sufficiently oxygenated, preventing DR.

PolyPhotonix, maker of the Nocturna 400, has raised funds to conduct clinical trials to support FDA-approval for the device. PolyPhotonix, a UK-based, bio-photonic medical device company, secured $10 million in funding from Prevail Partners, a US life-science investment partner. The Nocturna 400 has already earned the European CE mark, and is currently under review for clinical use through the British National Health System (NHS).

Previous smaller studies suggest the Nocturna 400 is safe, may help to stabilize the condition, and enhanced clinical repair in 66% of patients with DR-related macular edema. Past research also indicates the device may reduce retinal thickness and intra-retinal cysts. If the upcoming FDA-focused trials provide robust evidence of efficacy, Nocturna 400 could offer hope for millions of people facing vision loss caused by diabetic eye disease.