Micro-Implant and Calcium for End-Stage Macular Degeneration

Micro-Implant and Calcium for End-Stage Macular Degeneration

Researchers are constantly trying different applications to treat macular degeneration. Recent studies are showing good response to a certain micro-implant which could significantly increase the quality of life for millions suffering from various forms of macular degeneration, particularly end stage AMD (age-related macular degeneration). Thanks to huge leaps in the microtechnology industry it is now possible to utilize a dying retina with tiny hardware that assists sight.

In addition, new science regarding supplementation is continually emerging and calcium could be the next go-to for ocular strengthening and macular maintenance.

Learn how a micro-implant and calcium for end-stage macular degeneration may work as good tools for managing and preventing AMD.


It is called an Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) and this new micro-optic advancement is bringing sight back to those who lost hope while compromised by end-stage macular degeneration.

There have been several attempts at designs for enhancing vision with a micro-level prosthesis but it seems that the IMT may be the first one with real potential that is also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The design, invented by retinal physician Dr. Alan Lipschitz, is a workaround technology that utilizes other healthy parts of the eye to help restore sight.

According to a report of the IMT by Today’s Medical Developments,

“The IMT technology platform is based on wide-angle micro-optics that, in combination with the optics of the cornea, projects images seen straight-ahead onto healthy peri-macular areas of the retina instead of the macula alone, where AMD caused a breakdown of photoreceptors and loss of vision. This reduces the impact of the blind spot (central scotoma) in central vision. The blind spot doesn’t go away, but it appears smaller to the patient who can see around it.”

The telescopic lens is fitted into place by “snapping” it into a fitted carrier plate that is prepared for long term ocular performance. This is done by using a special fused capsule that does not come in contact with bodily fluids or tissues making it highly functional. The IMT even has what is described as a PMMA (described below) light restrictor which prevents peripheral light from entering the eye. Once the device is surgically in place, the patient works with an occupational therapist to retrain sight and see images, such as faces, once again.

Biocompatible Materials

The IMT is smaller than a pea but the materials that it is composed of are giants in the field. These components include:

  • A fused silica glass capsule that contains wide-angle micro-optical elements
  • A clear polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA, a glassy synthetic resin) carrier
  • A blue PMMA light restrictor which prevents peripheral light from entering the eye

These materials are biocompatible which means the body will not reject them as easily as non-biocompatible materials. The components are selected from top manufacturers in Switzerland, Germany and other parts of the EU where they are then transported to an Israeli lab for assembly.

A study of the IMT posted by CentraSight concluded,

“Long-term results of this telescope prosthesis show the substantial BCVA improvement at one year is maintained at two years. Key indicators of corneal health demonstrate ECD change that reflects remodeling of the endothelium associated with the implantation procedure. ECD stabilizes over time, and there is no evidence of any ongoing endothelial trauma.”

Currently the IMT is available in Europe and may soon be offered in the US. This is an excellent option for those facing imminent blindness as these patients could receive up to several years of close to normal sight. Over time, the way research is rapidly progressing, future advancement in the field of micro-optics may certainly be available in the near future making the IMT a prosthesis that may very well “buy time” until the next breakthrough. At the same time, it is paramount to maintain supporting supplementation and calcium has been showing some great promise.

Calcium Pros

Maintaining healthy eyesight is essential and when it comes to supplementation there is a lot to choose from. One formula based on the AREDS (age-related eye disease study) results offers a mix of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients for macular degeneration prevention. However, new research looked at calcium alone and found good results on how this mineral once again shows essential benefits to ocular health.

A study based on close to 5000 participants taking calcium supplements, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, describes the results,

“A total of 4751 participants were included (mean age, 69 years); participants in the highest quintile of dietary calcium intake had a lower risk of developing late AMD, central geographic atrophy and any geographic atrophy. The participants in the highest supplementary calcium intake had a lower risk of developing neovascular AMD compared with those who did not take calcium supplements. When stratified by sex, women in the highest quintile of dietary calcium intake had a lower risk of developing late AMD compared with those in the lowest quintile. Women in the highest calcium supplementation had a lower risk of progression to neovascular AMD compared with those who did not take calcium supplements. Similar findings were found in men for dietary calcium.”

The study concluded,

“In this secondary analysis, higher levels of dietary and supplementary calcium intake were associated with lower incidence of progression to late AMD,”

Check with your physician or naturopathic doctor to find the right calcium supplement for your specific health history profile. In the meantime, you can increase your calcium intake by eating more broccoli, soybeans, dark green leafy vegetables and chia seeds. Although calcium can be obtained through dairy choices such as milk and cheese, these non-dairy choices may be easier on your digestive tract.