Deep Red Light Exposure Could Improve Impaired Vision
A recent study discovered that applying the right light type for brief periods could improve vision decline. The findings showed that exposing the eye to deep red light for just three minutes in the early morning once a week can improve low vision for up to one week. The researchers used a deep red light of a specific hue with a wavelength of 670 nm. The improvement in vision resulted from the type of light scientists used to influence mitochondria.
The study’s lead author, Prof. Jeffery, explained the importance of mitochondria, describing them as cell’s batteries. The light enables these membrane-bound cell organelles to increase the energy output that has decreased with disease or age. Our vision decreases after we turn 40 and is connected to a 70% reduction in ATP, which means that our cells don’t have enough energy to function correctly.
The study involved women and men between the ages of 34 and 70. The research team assessed the participants’ vision by scoring their color contrast vision, or the capacity to make a difference between colors. At the start of the study, all participants had normal color contrast vision. Some of them were exposed to three minutes of deep red light in the morning, while the others in the afternoon. The participants who were receiving light exposure in the morning had improvement of their color contrast vision by an average of 17%.
The researchers found that receiving light exposure in the afternoon didn’t improve the participants’ color contrast vision. Therefore the application of light must occur in the morning. Prof. Jeffery believes that mitochondria respond only in the morning. The researchers also discovered that the optimal length for red light exposure is three minutes, and the vision improvement lasts up to one week. He also suggests that the results of this study extend beyond eyesight improvement since mitochondria rule many aspects of our lives. Based on previous research, red light has been demonstrated to be neuroprotective in a monkey model of Parkinson’s disease.
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash