Purpose Far-red/near-infrared phototherapy or photobiomodulation (PBM) has recently been reported to be an effective and non-invasive treatment method to inhibit lesions of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in animals. This study investigated the safety and efficacy of PBM in diabetic patients to treat non-center-involving diabetic macular oedema (NCDME).
Methods This was a non-randomised, consecutive, case series, where 4 patients with type 2 diabetes with NCDME were treated for 160 s per day with PBM for 2–9 months. Demographic data including age, sex, HbA1c%, electronic ETDRS visual acuity, and retinal and macular thickness were measured using spectral domain ocular coherence tomography (SD-OCT) before and after treatment.
Results Four eyes of 4 patients were treated, with fellow eyes serving as untreated controls. Daily PBM treatment for only 80 s per treatment twice daily caused a significant reduction in focal retinal thickening in all 4 treated eyes. No adverse effects attributable to therapy were noted by the patients or study investigators during the study period.
Conclusions PBM potentially offers a non-invasive and cost-effective therapeutic option for patients with NCDME. Further studies of this therapeutic option in DR are warranted
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