Treatment for AMD
MacuMira – Treatment for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
What is MacuMira?
MacuMira is the first and only treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in Canada and North America. Released in Canada in February 2023, MacuMira is approved by Health Canada and is safe and effective. There are no medicines currently available for dry AMD. Currently, typical treatment includes recommended lifestyle changes and supplementation with vitamins and minerals.
MacuMira is a non-invasive treatment, meaning it involves no injections or surgeries.
How does Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment with MacuMira work?
MacuMira is a device that delivers a patented microcurrent through your closed eyes. The current treatment regimen is four 32-minute sessions in your first week, followed every 2–3 months by additional 32-minute sessions. Treatment with MacuMira for dry age-related macular degeneration is painless. The eye treatment is also simple, and is delivered right in the clinic of your eye care specialist.
The patented microcurrent
As some people age, they can accumulate buildups of waste in their retina. Among the most common are drusen and lipofuscin. Drusen are yellow deposits — and while the exact relationship between drusen and age-related macular degeneration is not fully clear, drusen increases the risk of AMD — particularly more advanced forms.
Lipofuscin is a pigment that is understood to be a product of oxidization in your cells, and can accumulate as you age in many parts of the body, including your retina. It is believed to contribute to dry AMD as well.
The microcurrent delivered by MacuMira stimulates the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) cells in your eye, which enhances mitochondrial ATP formation. ATP is the main energy source for most biochemical process. In turn, this helps your eyes clear drusen and lipofuscin.
Is MacuMira effective?
MacuMira has been proven effective in its landmark clinical trial, and has been approved as a treatment for dry, age-related macular degeneration.
In the trial, the vision of all 40 patients treated with MacuMira improved. Nearly half of those patients improved by 10 or more letters on the ETDRS chart (the letter chart you are likely familiar with from eye exams). Improvement in vision was maintained through the duration of the trial.
Some improvement is also immediate, right after the first treatment. And optimal results were achieved after only four treatments.
How is MacuMira treatment delivered?
MacuMira is a device that resembles one you may have looked into as part of an eye examination. Before you begin, the technician will place two sticker-like electrode pads to each side of your head. You’ll also be given a disposable head cap and to help ensure a hygienic environment for all. The treatment will last about half an hour. Afterwards, the technician will remove the electrode pads, and clean any residue. The device is fully cleaned and sanitized after each use.
Some clinics can provide music and other features to make treatment sessions more relaxing.
What are other treatments for age-related macular degeneration?
There are currently no other approved treatments for early, dry AMD. Doctors recommend lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, quitting smoking, and regular exercise to potentially slow the advance of dry, age-related macular degeneration. They will also regularly monitor your eye health to keep track of any progression.
For more advanced dry AMD, typical treatment is dietary supplements, such as vitamins and minerals. These may slow the progression of the disease.
For wet AMD, there are treatments which may be able to slow or prevent further deterioration of your vision. One type is an injection into your eye of an anti-VEGF drug. VEGF is a protein that promotes the growth of new blood vessels, which grow abnormally in cases of wet AMD.
A less common form of treatment for wet AMD is photodynamic therapy (PDT). In PDT, a light-sensitive medicine is injected into your arm. When it has travelled to your retina, it is activated with a special laser.
MacuMira is currently not indicated for treatment of wet AMD. Because dry AMD can turn into wet AMD at any stage — not just from late-stage AMD — it is important to have your eyes checked regularly and to discuss treatment options with your health-care provider.
Who is eye treatment with MacuMira for?
MacuMira is indicated for use in patients with dry, age-related macular degeneration in any stage. This includes early stages, in which vision loss might not be detectable, as well as stages with more advanced vision loss that has not developed into wet AMD.
As with all treatments, be sure to discuss your options with your eye-care professional.