Microcurrent Stimulation for Macular Degeneration

Microcurrent Stimulation for Macular Degeneration

Stimulating nerves with electricity has long been an approach to relieving pain and reducing progression of a specific condition or disease. Labeled E-Stim, physical therapists use electrodes attached to the skin to activate compromised muscle fibers and acupuncturists attach clips to needles to send small pulses of electricity into targeted points for optimal application. 

Although electrical pulses have been used for several decades to attempt to treat macula degeneration, now a specific type of electrical manipulation known as ‘microcurrent stimulation’, may be at the point of being successfully applied. 

Microcurrent stimulation for macular degeneration has promising therapeutic effects that could surpass pharmaceutical applications for some patients, essentially offering a “natural” approach that works to slow AMD (age related macular degeneration) progression. 

Pain-Free Electrical Application

Although it sounds like a painful procedure, this type of electrical stimulation works with low frequencies making for a pain-free application.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) describes the process of electrical eye therapy,

“Microcurrent stimulation is a technique to apply electrical stimulation to nerve fibers using cutaneous [attached to the skin] electrodes…This procedure is also known as transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the macula (TESMAC)…described as applying 200 micro-amperes of electricity from a nine-volt battery to eight points around the eye. This technique utilizes lower currents, on the order of 50 to 500 micro-amperes. The device controller provides the microcurrent using two different waveforms and four frequencies…microcurrent stimulation improves membrane permeability, nerve conduction velocity, protein synthesis, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels.”

The only discomfort reported when using microcurrent stimulation is some slight skin sensitivity around the electrode application sites. This is on par with any therapy that uses adhesives to attach to skin which can also cause a similar reaction when applying wound bandages.

The Natural Way

As reported by Eyecell, ophthalmologist and doctor of homeopathy, Dr. Edward Kondrot, MD, has been studying microcurrent stimulation since the late 1990s. In 1998, Dr, Kondrot heard about pro-golfer Sam Snead and his remarkable recovery from macular degeneration through microcurrent stimulation therapy. After immersing himself in the research and application of this technique, in addition to the application of homeopathy (the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances) as well as clinical nutrition, Dr. Kondrot wrote three books,

  • Healing the Eye the Natural Way: Alternate Medicine and Macular Degeneration 
  • Microcurrent Stimulation: Miracle Eye Cure
  • 10 Essentials to Save Your SIGHT (Healing the Eye Wellness Series) 

In 2000, Dr, Kondrot treated Mr. Snead with improved results. Since then, various benefits through his patients have been documented and reported. These benefits of microcurrent stimulation state that it:

  • Improves circulation
  • Stimulates cellular activity
  • Reduces scar tissue
  • Reduces inflammation 
  • Stimulates stem cell activity

Dr. Kondrot describes the 3 day in-office as well as in-home treatment, 

“…During the 3 days patients will receive 4 microcurrent treatments a day. During this time we are evaluating the parameters of current and frequency to optimize the microcurrent settings. At the end of the 3rd day the patient is then given their own customized microcurrent machine to use daily at home. Follow ups are also very important and we schedule these at one, 3 and 6 months. Since most of our patients travel a great distance we conduct these on over the telephone as long as patients supply us with a copy of records from their local eye doctor…I have seen great results with microcurrent in the treatment of macular degeneration. Over 90% of patients will have a significant improvement of their vision.”

Past Studies

As practitioners like Dr. Kondrot continue to take the torch of research and improve upon it, it was the past studies that propelled such research. It has been shown that for a good portion of research study patients as well as reported results of patients using ophthalmological practices, microcurrent stimulation could create re-stimulation and re-energizing of dormant cells that increases blood flow, reduces waste and brings more nourishment to the macula. This combination may offer improved vision to those suffering from AMD. 

Natural Eye Care reported on a small microcurrent stimulation study of 25 eyes with dry AMD and 6 eyes with wet AMD (the more serious diagnosis) which showed,

Significant increases in visual acuity for most of the dry AMD patients

Twice as many dry AMD patients had improved visual acuity (52%) than deterioration (26%) The improvements were usually large, while deteriorations were very small

The sample size of wet AMD eyes was too small to draw many conclusions; however, all but one had an increase in visual acuity, and none of them deteriorated

Archival studies of microcurrent research were posted by Acupuncture Today showing how far back the concept was put into action. 

A two-year study (1983 to 1985) involving 114 patients, conducted by Grace Halloran, PhD. showed results to be:

  • 18 patients had macular degeneration, 16 improved
  • 78 patients had retinitis pigmentosa, 62 showed improvement
  • 18 patients had other various retinopathies, 16 improved
  • Of the patients who did not demonstrate any improvement, 14 stayed the same (although they otherwise would have been expected to lose vision); two continued to lose vision, although only slightly. 

A 10-year clinical study was conducted by Drs. Jarding and Michael on the use of microcurrent to treat macular degeneration. Of the 400 eyes evaluated over the course of the study, the results were as follows:

  • 78% of the eyes showed from 1-9 lines of improvement in reading of a visual acuity chart
  • Over 50% showed from 2-9 lines of improvement
  • In the study, two patients suffered from retinal vein occlusion and swelling of the macula. Both had dramatic improvement in vision.

As microcurrent stimulation for macular degeneration continues to be used, more promising results will surely arise. It is a technology that through archival studies showing decades of research, may finally bring us closer to a way to beat this disease once and for all.