Can you improve eyesight by seeing red?

There could be an easy, DIY to improve eyesight deterioration due to age, and prevent it from getting worse. All it might take is a few minutes of looking at a red light.

With age we often lose some sensitivity to light and color. Our eyes age faster than any other part of our body. Once we pass 40, we are at higher risk for cataracts, also diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

It’s known that the progress of these diseases can be slowed by eating a diet rich in antioxidants and maintaining normal levels of blood sugar, body weight and blood pressure.  Now LIGHT therapy is a focus of research.

Seeing Red by Peggy

Why does red light work? Researches think that it helps keep mitochondria healthy, the parts of our cells that produce energy.

In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology, subjects looked at a specific spectrum of red light for just 3 minutes a day.  All subjects had an improvement in color perception, with people over 40 showing the most improvement.

The study was small and there was no control group. More study is needed to ensure this treatment works and is safe, and even then treatment should be under a doctor’s care. The promising news is that red lights have been shown to be safe in other studies.

The mitochondrial theory of aging, indicates that animals age when damage accumulates in mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA. The theory is anything that reduces damage in the mitochondria is a way of slowing aging.  Eye retina cells have more mitochondria than other parts of the body.

Mitochondria is involved in other disease, such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, so it’s even possible red light therapies may help these and other conditions.

Stay Tuned!


 Journal of Gerontology.