Declining eyesight improved by looking at deep red light
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Staring at a deep red light for three minutes a day can significantly improve declining eyesight, finds a new UCL-led study, the first of its kind in humans.

Scientists believe the discovery, published in the Journals of Gerontology, could signal the dawn of new affordable home-based eye therapies, helping the millions of people globally with naturally declining vision.

For the study, 24 people (12 male, 12 female), aged between 28 and 72, who had no ocular disease, were recruited. All participants' eyes were tested for the sensitivity of their rods and cones at the start of the study. Rod sensitivity was measured in dark adapted eyes (with pupils dilated) by asking participants to detect dim light signals in the dark, and cone function was tested by subjects identifying colored letters that had very low contrast and appeared increasingly blurred, a process called color contrast.

All participants were then given a small LED torch to take home and were asked to look into* its deep red 670nm light beam for three minutes a day for two weeks. They were then re-tested for their rod and cone sensitivity.

Researchers found the 670nm light had no impact in younger individuals, but in those around 40 years and over, significant improvements were obtained.

Cone color contrast sensitivity (the ability to detect colors) improved by up to 20% in some people aged around 40 and over. Improvements were more significant in the blue part of the color spectrum that is more vulnerable in aging. Rod sensitivity (the ability to see in low light) also improved significantly in those aged around 40 and over, though less than color contrast.

This study shows that it is possible to significantly improve vision that has declined in aged individuals using simple brief exposures to light wavelengths that recharge the energy system that has declined in the retina cells, rather like re-charging a battery.

Source: https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/gerona/glaa155/5863431?redirectedFrom=fulltext
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