Just three MINUTES of deep red light one morning a week can improve your vision | MCU Times

Just three MINUTES of deep red light one morning a week can improve your vision

Staring at a deep red light for only three MINUTES once a week can “significantly improve” your vision, the study claims.

  • In humans, cells in the retina of the eye begin to deteriorate around the age of 40
  • The cell’s mitochondria, whose role is to produce energy, also begin to decline
  • Research has shown that a red light can help ‘recharge’ the mitochondria
  • On average, there was a 17% improvement in vision when exposed to three minutes of deep red light in the morning










Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light one morning a week can “significantly improve” your vision, a new study claims.

Researchers wanted to look at what effect a single three-minute exposure would have, while also using much lower energy levels than their previous studies.

Based on separate University College London (UCL) fly research, the team also compared morning exposure to afternoon exposure.

According to the new study, there was an average of 17 percent improvement in participants’ color contrast vision when exposed to three minutes of 670 nanometers (long wavelength) deep red light in the morning.

The researchers found that this single exposure lasted for at least a week, although no improvement was seen when the same test was performed in the afternoon.

Researchers say their findings mark a breakthrough for eye health and should lead to affordable home-based eye therapies that help millions of people globally with naturally declining vision.

Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light one morning a week can

Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light one morning a week can “significantly improve” your vision, a new study claims

How does it work?

In humans, cells in the retina of the eye begin to deteriorate around the age of 40, when the cell’s mitochondria, whose role is to produce energy (known as ATP), also begin to decline.

Previous research has shown that deep red light can help ‘recharge’ these mitochondria in mice, bumblebees and fruit flies.

“Mitochondria have specific sensitivity to long-wavelength light, which affects their performance: longer wavelengths ranging from 650 to 900 nm improve mitochondrial performance to increase energy production,” said Professor Jeffery.

Lead author Professor Glen Jeffery, of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, said: ‘We demonstrate that a single exposure to long-wave deep red light in the morning can significantly improve declining vision, which is a major health and wellness issue affecting millions of people globally.

“This simple intervention, applied at the population level, will have a significant impact on quality of life as people get older and is likely to result in reduced social costs arising from problems associated with visual impairment.”

In humans, cells in the retina of the eye begin to deteriorate around the age of 40, when the cell’s mitochondria, whose role is to produce energy (known as ATP), also begin to decline.

Previous research has shown that deep red light can help ‘recharge’ these mitochondria in mice, bumblebees and fruit flies.

“Mitochondria have specific sensitivity to long-wavelength light, which affects their performance: longer wavelengths ranging from 650 to 900 nm improve mitochondrial performance to increase energy production,” said Professor Jeffery.

To test whether red light could also help recharge mitochondria in humans, researchers recruited participants between the ages of 34 and 70 who had no history of eye disease.

Participants completed a questionnaire regarding eye health before testing and had normal color vision (cone function).

This was assessed using a Chroma test that identified colored letters that had very low contrast and seemed more and more blurred, a process called color contrast.

Using an included LED flashlight-like device, all 20 participants (13 women and seven men) were exposed to three minutes of 670 nm deep red light in the morning between 6 p.m. 8 and 9.

Three hours after exposure, their color vision was tested again, and 10 of the participants were also tested one week after exposure.

A few months after the first test, six of the 20 participants completed the same test in the afternoon between 6 p.m. 12.00 and 13.00.

But when they had their color vision tested again, it showed no improvement.

Prof Jeffery said: ‘Using a simple LED device once a week recharges the energy system that has fallen into the retinal cells, rather than recharging a battery.

‘And morning exposure is definitely the key to achieving declining vision: As we have seen in the past with flies, mitochondria have changing work patterns and do not respond in the same way to afternoon light – this study confirms this.’

The research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Sight Research UK, is published in Scientific Reports.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHORT AND LONG VISION?

Both myopia and farsightedness are common conditions that impair a person’s vision.

Short-sighted (nearsighted) have difficulty seeing objects from a distance.

They prefer objects that are closer to them.

Their vision is clear when you see things up close, but further away, objects become out of focus or blurred.

Short-sightedness (myopia) occurs when the distance from the front to the back of the corneal curve is too steep.

This forces light to focus in front of the retina, causing objects in the distance to appear blurred.

Long-sightedness (hyperopia) is the opposite of this and allows people to see objects clearly from a distance, but have difficulty focusing on things close to them.

This makes daily activities like working, reading or watching TV difficult and can result in strained eyes. This then causes fatigue and headaches.

Long-sightedness occurs when the distance from the front to the back of the corneal curve is too steep.

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