A Canadian study is using an old drug for a new treatment and that is giving people who are losing their sight because of diabetes new hope.

Sandra Huisman has diabetes and was slowing losing her vision to diabetic macular edema.

Reading was becoming difficult and so was watching TV and driving was completely out of the question.

Huisman’s vision has been saved by a drug injected into the eye called Lucentis.

The drug is already being used to treat macular degeneration, which affects mainly seniors, but a  drug trial is confirming its reliability and cost effectiveness for diabetics.

“That's a very important distinction because we're talking about the working population. So people have diabetes within the ages of 30 and 60 and if they’re losing vision this could be very important in the terms of preventing vision loss or gaining some of the vision back that they need in order to drive or in order to work and ultimately pay taxes,” said eye surgeon Dr. Geoff Williams.

The cost is a factor in this treatment as each injection costs approximately $1600 and may be required once a month.

“I can’t say enough about it. I’m just so grateful that  I had the opportunity to do it and I really hope and from other people who have had it they’ve had the same reaction, the same help,” said Huisman.

The drug improves eye sight and can be used to prevent vision loss in some patients

The cost of Lucentis for this new treatment is not yet covered in Alberta.