The OkuStim device stimulates the eyes with a weak electrical current. This is done with the RI OkuEl electrodes, which are held on the eye by the RI OkuSpex frame. Stimulation is performed with the eyes closed. The treatment parameters are determined and set by a doctor beforehand.
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RI OkuStim therapy offers the chance to slow down the progression of the disease. This can be perceived as:

  • Slowing down the progression of visual field loss
  • Increased cell activity. Cell activity is measured using an electroretinograph (ERG). An increased cell activity means, amongst others things, that the cells react stronger to light stimulation. This could imply a greater amount of cells that are involved in the visual perception, which in turn could mean a positive influence on the visual field.
  • Improvement of the visual acuity

As in all therapies and medications, patients benefit to different extents from the RI OkuStim therapy.

The therapy is performed once per week for 30 minutes. The aim of this therapy is to slow down the progression of the disease, meaning it has to be applied over a long period of time as a long term or permanent therapy. The application duration is determined by the perceivable benefit.

Research results show that the activation of several so-called neuroprotective growth factors on the retina – by means of electrical stimulation – can have a retention effect for the dying retinal cells. Thus, the degeneration of affected cells can also be reduced. Both contribute to enabling longer cellular function of the remaining cells.

The therapy aims at retaining cell activity. This is only possible if the photoreceptors still possess residual function. Therefore, therapy should preferably commence in an early stage of retinitis pigmentosa. Experience from application has shown that a residual visual field of at least 5° may still be enough to start therapy.
Therapy is not an option, for example, in the case of ongoing growth processes in the eye (e.g. macula edema).
Please consult an RI competence centre for a personal examination and consultation.
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Data and results are only available for Retinitis pigmentosa. Assessment of the effect on other eye diseases like e.g. macula degenerations AMD and Stargardt disease will only be done in future clinical trials.
A treatment of other inherited retinal dystrophies like cone-rod-dystrophy, choroideremia or Usher-syndrome has to be discussed with your consultant ophthalmologist on an individual case basis.

So far the therapy with OkuStim has only been applied on adult patients. No data is available for minors.

Normally the application of RI OkuStim does not cause any pain. It is recommended that during stimulation artificial tears should be used if the patient has a subjective irritation caused by the electrode thread or in case of a mechanical irritation or inflammation. Such side effects are usually limited to the application duration and do not last for more than a few hours after end of a therapy session

Depending on the national health system, patients can apply to health insurance providers for a case-by-case check to determine whether the cost of the requested treatment will be covered.
In Germany costs for the therapy and the RI OkuStim products have to be borne by the patient. Here, you can apply for reimbursement by your health insurance company on an individual case basis. Currently, however, there is no statutory entitlement for it.
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Yes, the RI OkuStim products are only available upon prescription. In Germany, you can obtain them from an RI OkuStim certified low-vision optician upon providing the original prescription. For distribution outside of Germany, please get in touch with us or refer to our website for distributor information.
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