Researchers report that a short wave of red light in the morning improves deteriorating vision, which can provide a simple, safe, and easy-to-use treatment to keep our eyes sharper as we age.
In tests of 20 people exposed to three minutes of 670nm deep red light in the morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., vision improved 17 percent and lasted (at a lower level) an average of a week. In some volunteers, the improvement was up to 20%.
This association between long-wavelength red light and improved vision is consistent with what scientists have seen. Previous studies In animals, the study derives from a similar It was done last year – but in this case, the red light was limited to one exposure per day that required less red light energy than before.
“Using a simple LED device once a week recharges the degraded energy system in the cells of the retina, like recharging the battery,” Neuroscientist Glenn Jeffrey says: from University College London (UCL) at Reino Unido.
“And exposure in the morning is absolutely essential to achieve improvements in vision deterioration: as we have seen previously in flies, mitochondria alter performance patterns and do not respond in the same way to afternoon light – this study confirms it.”
NS Mitochondria In the eye, which is often called the forces of the cell, the key: the team I already know They are most receptive in the morning, and it is these organelles that red light recharges so they can produce more energy.
The photoreceptors in the retina, where mitochondria are collected most densely, consist of cones (deal with color vision) and rods (adapted to low light). Here, the team focused on cones, assessing color contrast sensitivity after exposure to red light.
Follow-up tests on six participants, using red light therapy daily between 12:00 and 13:00, resulted in no change in vision – confirming that mitochondria do not respond to deep red light in the same way at the end of the day.
above: Dr. Pardis Kainzad maintains a deep red light over the eye, which helps stimulate mitochondria in retinal cells.
“Mitochondria have specific sensitivities to long-wavelength light that affect their performance,” Jeffrey says. “Longer wavelengths, extending from 650 to 900 nanometers, improve mitochondrial performance for increased energy production.”
Human retinal cells begin to age when we are 40 or older, and aging results in part from a lack of mitochondrial energy supply. Because the photoreceptors in the retina require more energy, they also tend to age faster.
The simple, low-power LED device used in the study could be an affordable optical treatment that people can quickly apply. It is also likely to be safe to use, because infrared light at 670 nm is not much different from light in the natural environment.
It will take some time to develop a complete device for widespread use, however, the researchers caution that some of their data are “high”: the level of improvement varied among participants, even those of the same age. Future studies may look more closely at other variables that may influence the results.
“This simple, population-wide intervention will significantly impact quality of life as people age and is likely to reduce the social costs that arise from problems associated with vision impairment.” Jeffrey says.
The search was published in Scientific Reports.
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