December 4, 2021

3-minute weak red light therapy helps restore vision

3-minute weak red light therapy helps restore vision

British ophthalmologists have found that three-minute exposure to far red light on the retina of the eye helps to partially restore weakened vision.

Over the years, our eyesight naturallyworsens, to some extent this is due to a decrease in the functionality of mitochondria in the cells of the retina. These organelles produce adenosine triphosphoric acid, which provides energy to the cells. According to the researchers' estimates, ATP production decreases by 70% during life, which impairs the performance of the retina, therefore, weakens vision.

Exploring Safe Ways to Increase Activitymitochondria, a team from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London found that short-term exposure to far red light with wavelengths between 650 and 900 nm is sufficient to stimulate long-term functionality of the cell's power plants.

During clinical trials, scientists once ina week in the morning (between 8 and 9 o'clock) they shone with a special LED device on the retinas of people from 37 to 70 years old for only three minutes. The therapy results were then compared using a daily color contrast test. After the second week, there was an improvement in vision by an average of 12-17%, which lasted for several days.

In the second phase of the study, the team did the same thing, but in the evening. However, in this case, no significant changes were observed.

According to scientists, due to the influence of the circadian regimeto mitochondria, their response to weak red light differs greatly depending on the time of day. They also noted significant differences in the degree of vision improvement among the various participants, indicating the existence of as yet unknown factors.

However, this simple and safe type of therapy can help many people to recover some of the visual acuity that has been lost with age.

In addition to methods of maintaining vision, scientists alsoare actively exploring ways to get it back after a total loss. Recently, using gene therapy, a research team partially restored vision to a man who was blind for 40 years.

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