The eyes are an important aspect of the human body. Of course, one could argue that every part of the human body is important, but some parts have a larger impact on our daily life than others.
Many people consider their eyes a critical part of their being as they enable us to see the world and take in everything around us. This is why it can be devastating for anyone who loses their eyesight or is slowly losing it.
Thankfully, many scientific and medical bodies have lauded red light therapy (RLT) as one of the few treatments that could improve declining eyesight without adverse effects.
In this article, we discuss eyes and the many reasons a person’s eyesight could decline, the effect of red light therapy on the eyes, and some of the best red light therapy devices on the market.
The Eyes and Its Aging Factor
It goes without saying that vision is an important aspect of our experience as humans. Experiencing vision loss significantly impacts the lives of the person who lost their sight and even those around them.
The eyes are complex structures that constantly adjust independently to the amount of light needed to produce vision and focus on objects. The structure and function of the eyes are concepts that have been studied by scientists and doctors for centuries, and much about them is still unknown.
One question that has plagued the medical community for decades is, “What factor has a larger impact on the ‘normal decline’ of visual function as we age?” Is it genetics or environmental factors?
The results of the study to determine which of these factors impact vision decline the most have shown that genetic factors are strong determinants for sharp visual acuity and color discrimination. However, things like night vision and the ability to adapt to light were more linked to environmental influences such as smoking, nutrient deficiency, excessive exposure to the sun, and inflammation of the eye cells.
This research shows that taking care of the environmental factors listed above is important, as these can lead to a decline in accommodation by the eyes and night vision loss.
The good news is that red light therapy, when applied early–especially when the symptoms are first noticed–can significantly improve the condition of your eyes.
How exactly does this work?
Modern science is based on old discoveries!
What Is Red Light Therapy (RLT)?
Red light therapy started out as something of a myth but slowly gained more attention in the mainstream medical community. It has become a primary option in the treatment and management of several health conditions, including eye disorders.
You should keep in mind that for the red light to work, it has to be in the very specific range of 620 to 750 nanometers. Research shows that red light or near-infrared light at this wavelength penetrates the layers of the skin and activates cells effectively.
The main function of red light therapy is to activate the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the mitochondria – the energy center of the cells. This activation is important because research shows that the increased production of ATP in the mitochondria provides energy for the cells to perform metabolic processes such as healing wounds, repairing damaged cells, and more.
To effectively benefit from the positive effects of red light therapy, you need consistent exposure to red light therapy devices equipped with medical-grade LED lights that produce red light at the recommended wavelengths.
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Eyes
Several studies have shown that red light therapy can improve eyesight in those with declined eyesight due to age.
Red light therapy helps to activate energy production in the eye’s mitochondria just like it does in other cells in the body. This increased energy production results in a slight but lasting improvement in declining eyesight. This process is called the ATP synthase pump.
Several studies show that when red light therapy is performed in the morning, it has a more significant effect on the condition of the cells in the eyes and other parts of the body than when it is performed in the afternoon.
Besides using red light therapy, the CDC advises that everyone undergo comprehensive dilated eye exams to help detect eye diseases and defects in their early stages.
Another study in the Journal of Gerontology discovered that when selected adults were exposed to deep red light for about three minutes a day for two weeks, they reported an improved ability to discern letters against backgrounds with similar colors as the letters. This is a phenomenon known as contrast sensitivity.
This finding suggests that aged retina cells can be rejuvenated by exposing them to beams of red light at a wavelength of 670 nanometers.
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In this article, we explored the concept of degradation of eye function due to aging and environmental factors such as malnutrition and smoking. We also discussed how red light therapy could help to repair the cells in the eyes by activating the mitochondria.
In the end, one of the best ways to ensure that your eyes work at their very best is by getting comprehensive dilated eye exams as often as possible.
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- Michael R. (2016). Photobiomodulation or Low-level laser therapy. National Library of Medicine, PubMed Central. Retrieved on 19th of June, 2023. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5215795/
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (2009). Visual Decline as We Age: Genetics or Environment? Science Daily (2023). Retrieved on 19th of June, 2023. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202183038.htm