Aidan’s story

Aidan’s story

At 29-years-old, Aidan was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. A common complication of type 1 diabetes caused by damage to blood vessels in the retina, at the back of the eye. Aidan’s fear of not being able to see his nephew experience the moments that make life special, was quickly becoming a reality. “The thought of being blind scares me witless” Aidan said.

Early vision loss from diabetes can be ‘silent.’ In other words, there are no signs because damage starts at the edges of the retina. It is incurable, and a devastating condition. Finding and treating the first signs of damage has been impossible for clinicians, as they had no way of seeing the tiny retinal capillaries.

Dr Chandra Balaratnasingam is Aidan’s ophthalmologist at the Lions Eye Institute. His treatment has given Aidan much of his sight back, inspiring him to feel confident about his future again.

Dr Balaratnasingam has also helped develop the first prototype of a high definition scanner. It can detect the first changes of diabetic retinopathy in tiny capillaries only 4 microns in diameter.

Next, he will be characterising the changes and describing how they can be measured. This is part of establishing better vision-screening protocols for people with diabetes.

By improving knowledge about the disease process and the biology of diabetic retinopathy, the research could one day lead to new, more effective treatments.

Our patients like Aidan deserve a chance to receive the best available treatments as early as possible – when their vision can still be saved.

With your support, we can continue developing better ways to save people’s sight. Please consider giving today.

Request an appointment