Microcurrent Stimulation Therapy Whitewater WI
Fort Atkinson, WI
Davis Duehr Dean Whitewater
Spectrum Eye Ctr
A Second Chance at Sight
By Rob Waters
Five years ago, shortly after her 70th birthday, my mother, Elinor Waters, was given some disturbing news: She had an aggressive form of age-related macular degeneration, a progressive eye disease, and would likely lose much of her vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of poor vision and blindness among older people, and there are no good treatments. Some 12 million Americans have this condition, and just over one million of them, including my mother, have the so-called “wet” form that’s the faster acting and most damaging.
After getting this unsettling prognosis, Mom, a retired university professor, searched for treatments. She did research and met with specialists at prestigious eye clinics in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., where she lives. She took part in a trial of one high-tech procedure, but later learned she had been in the placebo group. She had several laser treatments designed to reduce the flow of excess blood to her retina, but with little effect.
For five years, my mother rode a roller coaster of emotions, coping with frustration and depression that grew as her vision and sense of independence faded. She lost the ability to drive, along with most of her central vision. She could no longer read books to her grandchildren or make out the faces of the people she loved.
The ophthalmologists and retinologists she spoke with were discouraging. Until some new drug or procedure came along, they told her, there was little they could do. Most dismissed vitamins or nutrition as a potential help. (Until three years ago, that is, when a large government-funded study confirmed that macular degeneration patients who took antioxidants plus zinc had a better chance of maintaining their eyesight.) And none mentioned an alternative therapy that a handful of practitioners and their patients consider the first real breakthrough in treating macular degeneration.
The treatment is called microcurrent stimulation (MCS), and it uses low-current electrical energy to stimulate potential healing processes in the retina. Strange as it sounds (considering the seriousness of the disease), this is a do-it-yourself therapy: For $1,000 to $1,500, patients buy a microcurrent device, along with other supplies and materials, and learn how to zap their own eyes twice a day.
For more than 20 years, practitioners have championed the use of this treatment as an effective way to slow and reverse vision loss from retinal disease. They claim to have helped thousands of people regain their vision with a therapy that even skeptics agree poses minimal risk. And they have authored studies in alternative medicine publications that claim success rates of 66 percent and higher.
One satisfied customer is Ed Aleksandrovich, founder and president of the Macular Degeneration Foundation. In 1997, Aleksandrovich overcame his skepticism and became California physician Damon P. Miller’s first MCS patient. Miller, a UCLA-trained radiol...
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