Three minutes a day, "red light" improves vision loss


Are you still troubled by your eyesight that declines with age? Maybe a "red light" after waking up in the morning will improve. Recently, a groundbreaking study by British scientists published in the "Scientific Reports" found that exposure to deep red light for only 3 minutes a day can significantly alleviate vision loss.

Around the age of 40, human retinal cells begin to age. Part of the reason is that the mitochondria of the cells begin to decline. Its function is to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the basis of energy for metabolism, and to improve cell function. Retinal photoreceptor cells have high energy demands and the highest mitochondrial density, which also makes retinal cells age faster than cells in other organs. During the life cycle, ATP is reduced by 70%, and the function of photoreceptors is significantly reduced due to lack of energy.

A team of researchers at University College London (UCL) previously conducted experiments on mice, bumblebees and fruit flies and found that when their eyes were exposed to deep red light, the function of retinal photoreceptors was significantly improved. Their separate study in fruit flies found that mitochondria change load as the time of day changes. So the team compared red light exposure in the early morning versus the afternoon.

Taking the above studies together, the research team explored the effects of red light exposure on the human eye. It found that when participants were exposed to 670 nanometer (long-wave) deep red light for 3 minutes in the morning, their vision improved by an average of 17%, and the effect of this single exposure lasted for at least a week. However, when the same experiment was performed in the afternoon, the participants saw no improvement in their vision.

"Mitochondria are particularly sensitive to long-wave light. Long-wave light with a wavelength between 650 and 900 nanometers can improve the performance of mitochondria, thereby increasing energy production." said Glen Jeffery, the main author of the paper and UCL professor.

Since affordable deep red light ophthalmic treatments for ordinary people are still scarce, Jeffery has been cooperating with related companies in order to develop low-cost 670nm infrared ophthalmic devices.

"This technology is simple and safe, because the energy of 670nm long-wave light is not much greater than that of natural light." Jeffery said that in the near future, three minutes of deep red light once a week can be done in the time it takes for people to make coffee . This will change the way eye care and vision protection is done around the world.

Despite the clarity of the findings, the researchers say some shortcomings remain. While 670-nm radiation clearly has a positive effect on individuals, the degree of vision improvement may vary between individuals of similar ages, with variables affecting the effect of red light exposure. Researchers have not yet identified these variables, so experimental data with larger sample sizes need to be collected.

Related paper information:

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