The discreet Eye Guide MC device, which Sandra invented in her home in Spalding, Lincolnshire, sits unobtrusively over the wearers’ ear, like a hearing aid does and contains, no batteries, no wires, no plugs and requires no surgery to fit.
Currently in the early stages of product development, the device appears to have a positive effect on improving debilitating Parkinson’s symptoms.
Sandra, who is the Founder/Inventor of Eye Guide MC, has just opened the business’s first clinic (May 2021) in Long Sutton which is run by a team of six.
She said: “Put simply, the Eye Guide MC is a very thin and discreet device that hooks over the ear. It is carefully calibrated with weights so that it sits in the perfect position in the peripheral vision in order to send a new message to the brain, overwriting the signals which affect balance, speech and movement and cause tremors in people with Parkinson’s. The device also improves mood, helping the person living with Parkinson’s to feel more confident.”
When wearing the Eye Guide MC, Sandra has control of her tremors and is able to speak clearly, has better body balance and can walk straight. She said the inspiration for the Eye Guide MC came to her after being told by doctors that an eye patch would improve her walking, which sparked her idea that the eyes held the key to a potential solution to Parkinson’s symptoms.
She said: “I had the idea for the Eye Guide MC when I was at my lowest. In 2015 my Parkinson’s took a complete nose-dive and it was winning the takeover bid. No medication was making me feel any better and I was suffering with my mental health. Everything felt impossible. That’s when I was introduced to a Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist, who helped turn my life around.”
After meeting with a specialist, and with the unfaltering support of her husband Chris who had also been her carer for many years by this point, Sandra set to work developing her invention. She’d always loved inventing and tinkering with watches and mechanical bits and bobs around the house – and now she put her creative spark to the test.
Speaking of the moment the idea for the device came to her, Sandra said: “One day I was fiddling with a little knitting marker which my niece had given me and placed it on my glasses. I immediately noticed an effect on my Hemispatial neglect, a condition which meant I had no awareness of the world on the left side of my body. The idea came to me like a lightning bolt. It was beautifully simple and mind-blowingly clear. If I could alter messages to my brain by simply placing something in my peripheral vision, I could make a device that could help to control Parkinson’s symptoms.”
Two years of careful development, testing, and tweaking later and the Eye Guide MC was ready to change lives.
In order to create a scalable production model and business plan, Sandra and her husband Chris originally sought funding from the University of Lincoln’s Productivity Programme and Parkinson’s UK – both of which have helped Eye Guide MC with grants.
So far, more than 80 people with Parkinson’s have been fitted with the Eye Guide MC, with astounding results being reported. The Guide has Medical Device Accreditation and a CE Mark.
Sandra added: “Finally being able to share my invention with other Parkinson’s people as we launch our business far and wide is the very best feeling in the world. It is so hard to explain in words the difference the Eye Guide MC can make – you really do have to see it first-hand to believe it. For me – tremors, gone. Speech, normal and not slurred. Balance, good. All the things that make life a daily and painful struggle for Parkinson’s people can be gradually solved by our device.
“I’ve not cured Parkinson’s, but I’ve created a way to control it. When I take the Eye Guide MC off my tremors return with immediate effect – but that’s ok, I can live with my condition now. This is me, the lady with Parkinson’s who invented a way of regaining independence.”
Parkinson’s UK provided Eye Guide MC with early-stage advice and support to help get the device CE safety mark assessed. Parkinson’s UK do not formally endorse the product as it is still at an early stage of development, but they are keen to follow its progress. Sandra is a Parkinson’s UK volunteer and works with other Parkinson’s UK volunteers to provide support to others living with Parkinson’s in her local community.
The Eye Guide MC clinic based in Long Sutton, Spalding is designed to help people with Parkinson’s regain their independence with the simple no-surgery device which can alleviate the debilitating symptoms of the condition. To enquire about a fitting for an Eye Guide MC device, contact us today.