December 12, 2002
by Doctor David Marks
New York- Macular degeneration is one of the most common forms of vision loss in this country. Twelve-million Americans have it, and as the population ages, it's expected to increase.
Doctors usually treat the condition with lasers. But some patients say an alternative treatment is helping restore sight lost to the condition.
Macular degeneration patient grace Halloran, Grace Halloran was declared legally blind 30 years ago. "I was on nutrition, color therapy, exercises for the eye and upper body, acupressure which was self applied and stress management,” said Grace.
The retina or back of the eye in patients with macular degeneration has yellow spots are from bleeding and scarring. Patients with macular degeneration don't see the world like most people do. Their view is obscured by a large black spot that usually gets worse over time.
But Grace came up with an idea during her son's rehabilitation from an elbow fracture. "They were using microcurrent technology to improve, speed up the process in sprains or back injuries and i found it to be useful in sports medicine, so I said, 'why not the eyes?' so I started using it."
The procedure Halloran used is called microcurrent stimulation. You apply electrical current to acupuncture spots around your eyes, twice a day, three to four days a week. "I've seen fields improve, color vision improve, and acuity coming down more than two lines on the eye charts."
Dr. Damon Miller says microcurrent stimulation can help most patients with macular degeneration. "I've had people who are legally blind who are driving again, I've had people who couldn't see the face on their grandchildren who can do that again. People who couldn't read do that again," said Dr. Miller.
Why would the electricity help you see? No one is sure, but Miller says it allows the eye to heal itself. But the problem is, there's no scientific proof. Doctor Miller says that's the fault of the medical establishment. "Medical studies in this country have been funded by primarily drug companies, and this is not a drug."
Eye doctors doctor marks spoke to said they didn't know enough about microcurrent stimulation to comment about it. They did say they doubt it's a cure for macular degeneration. Dr. Miller agrees. But he says it can slow down the disease in most patients.
Viewers can contact Dr. Miller at 650-948-5120, and you can log on at www.millermdflash.net