Keeping an Eye on Red Light Therapy for Vision

Red light is more than just a cool look

Around the age of 40, the retinal cells in our eyes begin to decline. This is due to dysfunction of the mitochondria which is the part of the cell responsible for producing energy and boosting function. This change can impair our vision, especially how we perceive color. It is part of the reason why as we age, driving at night can become more difficult. Although how each individual is impacted will vary greatly.

In the study, 20 participants without any eye disease between the ages of 34-70, looked at a provided LED Red Light device for three minutes in the morning between 8am and 9am or in the afternoon between 12pm and 1pm.

The findings:

  • After just one session with the red light, there was a 17% improvement in color vision lasting one week.
  • In some of the older participants there was a 20% improvement.
  • There was zero improvement in those who used the light in the afternoon. Improvement was only seen when the light was used in the morning.

The takeaway: One researcher in the study stated “using a simple LED device once a week, recharges the energy system that has declined in the retina cells, rather like re-charging a battery.” More research is needed on the effects of red light therapy on the eyes. It appears to be a promising therapy for vision loss in older adults and can suggest other potential benefits for vision overall. We will see!

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