One night last week I was awakened by the sound of my dogs barking, and I jumped out of bed to check for intruders. As I ran down the hallway, I realized that something was wrong with my right eye: It had an image, like someone had flashed a bright light into it. I blinked wildly, trying to regain my normal vision, but the image remained. As I sat on the couch after checking the house, I was scared to death, not of intruders, but of the thought that diabetes had finally invaded my eyes. The image soon subsided, but I made an appointment with a retina specialist the next morning and braced myself for the worst.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to blood vessels of the retina. Almost everyone who has had diabetes for thirty years or more has some sign of the condition. Now, retinopathy researchers have come up with a device that will be implanted behind a patient's eye to deliver medication on demand. "We wanted to come up with a safe and effective way to help diabetic patients safeguard their sight," said lead author Mu Chiao, a mechanical engineering associate professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, in Science Daily. "This new device offers improvements upon existing implantable devices for drug delivery."
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