Macular Degeneration


A cause of visual impairment that often will not give any symptom or sign in the early stages, macular degeneration, also referred to as “age related macular degeneration”, is the leading cause of visual loss in older people. It is characterized by progressive damage to the back of the eye (known as the macula area on the retina).  Many risk factors have been associated with this condition. These include age >55years, family history of macular degeneration, smoking, hypertension, obesity, high level of bad cholesterol in the blood, and certain genetic predispositions.

Those with macular degeneration may experience symptoms later in the course of the illness. The symptoms include distorted and blurred vision, black shadows, difficulty with colors. They often suffer from the inability to recognize faces or have a clear picture of objects. Straight lines appear wavy and they find it difficult to drive. Visual acuity reduces significantly. There is no specific medical treatment for macular degeneration. Many treatment modalities are only good at slowing down the rate of progression.


Macular Degeneration and Acupuncture.


Acupuncture with the use of microcurrent electrical stimulation around the eye has been shown to be effective in stopping disease progression and possibly reversing the damage.

  • In FDA guided and supervised clinical studies, 61% of 400 patients with dry macular degeneration showed visual acuity improvement after the treatment.1
  • Edward Paul, O.D., Ph.D. reported a 72% rate of improvement in 26 out of 36 eyes with macular degeneration. There was also an 83% (20 out 24 eyes) rate of improvement in inherited juvenile macular degeneration (Stargardt disease).2
  • Another study that was published in 1997 and included 114 patients showed benefits from microcurrent stimulation for macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and other eye conditions.3
  • A study involving 400 eyes affected by macular degeneration showed that 78 % of affected eyes improved in 1-9 lines in reading an eye chart. More than 50% of eyes improved in 2-9 lines.4


Since there is currently no curative medical treatment, and with the rising incidence of macular degeneration among the elderly, electro stimulation of acupuncture points remains the only viable option of treatment for those with macular degeneration, as its effectiveness has been proven by many clinical studies.


  1. O’Clock GD, Jarding JB. Electrotherapeutic device/protocol design considerations for visual disease applications, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2009. EMBC 2009. Annual International Conference of the IEEE. 2009:2133-6.
  2. Edward Paul, O.D., D. The Treatment of Retinal Disease with MCS and Nutritional Supplementation, International Society for Low-Vision Research and rehabilitation at the Low Vision Congress in Gothenberg, Sweden 2002.
  3. Grace Halloran, PhD, et al. Bioelectrical Stimulation in an Integrated Treatment for Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Glaucoma, CMV, and DR; Fourth Annual Symposium on Biologically Closed Electrical Circuits, Mankato University, MN, October, 1997
  4. Merrill J. AIlen, O.D., Ph.D.; John B. Jarding, O.D.; Ralph Zehner, O.D. Macular Degeneration Treatment with Nutrients and Micro Current Electricity. The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 13, 4th Quarter 1998


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