Detroit — A vision testing device developed by two University of Michigan re-searchers is showing promise in the detection of diabetes, both in its early and potentially blinding stages.
It also may help diagnose changes that occur in the eye as early as 10 years before a person is diagnosed with macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
Eventually, eye doctors may use the device to determine if vitamins and drug injections taken by patients with macular degeneration actually stop progression of the disease, said Dr. Victor Elner, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Michigan's Kellogg Eye Center.
Or it may help people at risk of diabetes, or diagnosed with it, to avoid complications by managing their disease with healthy diets and medicines, said Howard Petty, Ph.D., a University of Michigan biophysicist and imaging expert and senior author of the study.
The device awaits further study and federal approval.