The following is a transcript of the interview with Dr.’s Halloran and Miller on WNBC’s Today Show in New York in November, 2002:

Electricity Slows Macular Degeneration, Blindness

About 12 Million Americans Suffer From Condition

WNBC Today Show in New York, November 26, 2002

Macular Degeneration Treatment

Macular degeneration is one of the most common forms of vision loss in this country. About 12 million Americans have it, and that number is expected to escalate to 30 million within the next few years. Lasers are the usual treatment for macular degeneration, but some experts say electricity is a better, non-invasive, alternative.

Grace Halloran was declared legally blind 30 years ago. She has macular degeneration, and she’s tried everything to restore her vision.

“I was on nutrition, color therapy, exercises for the eye and upper body, acupressure and stress management …” she said.

Patients with macular degeneration don’t see the world like most people do. Their view’s obscured by a large black spot that usually gets worse over time.

But Halloran came up with an idea during her son’s rehabilitation from an elbow fracture.

“[The doctors] 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?’” she said. “So I started using it.”

The procedure Halloran used is called microcurrent stimulation. It involves applying an 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,” she said.

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,” Miller said. “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.”

So why would the electric current help people see? No one is sure, but Miller believes it allows the eye to heal itself. But the problem is, there’s no scientific proof.

Miller says that’s the fault of the medical establishment.

“Medical studies in this country have been funded by drug companies — and this is not a drug,” he said.

The eye doctors NewsChannel 4 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. Miller also believes that microcurrent stimulation isn’t a cure, but he says it can slow down the disease in most patients.

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