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Red Light Therapy Benefits for Ocular Health

Red Light Therapy Benefits for Ocular Health

Red light therapy provides effective, secure, naturally based and proven treatments to many different types of health issues and concerns, one of which is vision loss and ocular well-being. As opposed to other powerful sources of light, such as sunlight, red light promotes healthy functions specifically without the negative side effects of other light sources. Studies have actually found evidence showing that red light has the ability to protect vision as well as reversing age-related conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma, and even eye injuries.

But this does not mean that LED red light should be stared at for an extended time period. Although it does not cause serious damage, it can lead to irritation. Furthermore, if you want to enjoy the benefits of this unique therapy, your eyes don't even have to be open.

A common concern associated with red light therapy is about the area around the eyes. While people are interested in applying red lights to the facial skin, they fear that the bright red light directed at them may not be the best thing for their eyes. Is there any reason to be worried? Does red light have the potential to damage the eyes? Or can it in fact be beneficial and actually helping our eyes heal?

In this article, we discuss recent medical research on red light therapy and ocular health, with an emphasis on the age-related consequences of macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other ocular disorders.

Red Light Therapy for Eyes Vision Loss Ocular Health Eye


Although sunlight may seem to be colorless, in reality, it is a virtual arc of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. When these colors are combined together, they form a visual spectrum of light, also known as "white light", that is measured by units named wavelengths. In addition, there are also wavelengths of light that are not visible: ultraviolet and infrared.

Our bodies are strongly influenced by light. For instance, the blue wavelengths of natural sunlight (the wavelengths making the sky appear blue) impact the hypothalamus, an area of the brain which plays an important role in the production of hormones.

One of the essential functions of the hypothalamus is regulating the sleep-wake cycle and its effectiveness in doing so is compromised by the digital age.

Researchers believe that the constant light exposure to blue light may be contributing to macular degeneration, which is an age-related eye illness due to damages to the light-sensitive retinal cells. [1]

Up until the digital age, individuals received no more than naturally occurring levels of any colored light. Since the widespread adoption of electronic gadgets, people today are spending hours staring at a screen, which has dramatically increased exposure.

This has resulted in increased eyesight problems, including macular degeneration. For this reason, screens on devices such as computers, laptops, televisions, tablets, and smartphones have the potential to interfere with the way your body functions. Throughout the day, blue light can improve alertness and cognitive functioning, and enhance mood. However, by night, this can cause disruptions, interrupting sleep habits, and leading to insomnia.


Research indicates that red light therapy is harmless and not dangerous for the eyes, but precautions should be considered. It should only be administered by a doctor and not self-administered at home.

As opposed to ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB), the red light will not cause burning to the eyes, but you may notice a pleasant warm sensation throughout your therapy. However, as the eyes are highly light-sensitive, too much exposure can cause damage. The majority of research on the use of red light therapy in the eyes suggests ONLY two minutes of exposure a day or every other day. [2]


Nearly 200 million people worldwide experience age-related macular degeneration. This is a condition that occurs when the eyes age and the production of basic ATP energy in the eyes cells declines. The decline of ocular cells results in inflammation, cellular degeneration, and ultimately a decline in vision and the everyday problems that follow. No cure currently exists. 

A key component of red light therapy involves the natural light stimulating the mitochondria within your cells to release more ATP activity. Red light therapy counteracts the primary cause of macular degeneration, assisting cells in your eyes in working effectively and producing energy, particularly as you get older. [3]


A lot more has been learned over the past years about the potential of red light therapies on eyes and vision. A longer-term study in 2018 reported results after tracking 33 patients for 5 years. Participants were 67 years old on average, and results were observed for five years. Those who received red light treatments experienced :

- Significantly increased visual acuity, or sharpness of vision, based on the ability to distinguish between distant letters and numbers.

- A significant reduction in edema and hemorrhaging, which translates into less distortion of vision and broken blood vessels.

- No adverse side effects, as is the case in practically all red light studies. [4]


A glaucoma is a group of ocular diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to a loss of vision in the course of time. It is affecting over 60 million people and the risks of glaucoma development increase with age. Since no cure exists for glaucoma, the control of symptoms and vision loss is at the center of present treatments.

But luckily, red light therapy has proven to be a safe, efficient, and completely natural method of treating glaucoma, without the burden of adverse effects of prescribed medications, eye drops, or surgical procedures.

These treatments reduce the effects of glaucoma and preventing vision loss by guarding both the cornea and the retina, particularly from ocular tension and accumulation of fluid, a major complication of glaucoma. The accumulation of clear fluid at the front of your eye may damage the optical nerve, causing the death of eye cells and the progressive loss of vision.

Prevent damage to the cornea with red light therapy: The cells in the cornea, which are responsible for maintaining its transparency so that light can penetrate it, are particularly exposed to this increase in pressure. One study in 2017 found that red light therapy therapies delivered to patients' eyes decreased damage to corneal cells at the same time reducing corneal cell damage and even promoting corneal cell growth, thus increasing the cells' chances of surviving and protection from vision loss due to glaucoma.

In addition to this research, there is still much to learn. One scientist has consistently examined studies on the function of mitochondria in retinal cells and has suggested that red light therapy is better at reaching these cells compared to topical ointments, as well as being non-toxic and non-invasive. [5]


Because our eyes are highly sensitive, sometimes the smallest objects and injury may lead to permanent damage affecting our vision. It has been shown that red light therapy helps treat many forms of eye damage, like

Burns of the cornea, that is very painful and may be hard to treat. One study conducted in 2016 reviewed 50 rabbits affected by corneal burns and noted that rabbits exposed to near-infrared light at 810 nm showed a reduction in inflammation and a reduced loss of cells for repair (keratocytes).

Foreign corneal bodies are objects on or in the cornea, such as a small piece of wood, plastic, glass, or sand. In a study of 40 patients with foreign body problems in the cornea, red light therapy showed that it significantly reduced the recovery period by 42%. 

The effects of red light on the healing of other types of sores and wounds are well documented as well. [6]


It is common for a person to undergo an eye implant, or artificial eye, in severe situations involving the loss of an eye because of a disease or injuries. In a supervised medical trial of people who had eye replacement surgery, those who received light therapy recovered 10 days faster compared to those who received regular medication. For a similar experiment involving rabbits, scientists discovered that red light promotes healing and reduce inflammation. [7]


All of this clearly shows that red light therapy is potentially highly effective in protecting retinal cells from harm, preventing vision loss, decreasing inflammation, as well as treating eye injuries. Red Light Therapy appears to be particularly helpful in treating age-related vision conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma. 



[1Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Facts & Figures

[2Near infrared light reduces oxidative stress and preserves function in CNS tissue vulnerable to secondary degeneration following partial transection of the optic nerve

[3Age-related retinal inflammation is reduced by 670 nm light via increased mitochondrial membrane potential

[4Five-year follow-up of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

[5] Glaucoma: Facts & Figures

[6Short-term effects of extremely low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field and pulsed low-level laser therapy on rabbit model of corneal alkali burn

[7Helium-neon laser therapy in the treatment of hydroxyapatite orbital implant exposure: A superior option



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