On June 29th a new study led by University College London found that staring at crimson light for three minutes a day could significantly improve vision loss, the first time it has been found in humans. By the time humans are around 40, the photoreceptor cells in the retina begin to age. And because the retina’s photoreceptor cells have the highest density of mitochondria and high demand for energy, the retina tends to age faster than other organs.
Based on previous studies of mice, bumblebees and fruit flies, the researchers found that the function of retinal photoreceptor cells improved significantly when their eyes were exposed to dark red light at a wavelength of 670nm.
The photoreceptor cells of the retina are made up of cone cells and rod cells, the researchers said. Specific rays affect the performance of mitochondria, which can be improved when the wavelength range is between 650nm and 1000nm.
The researchers invited 24 (12 male sons and 12 women) participants, aged between 28 and 72, withno eye diseases. At the beginning of the study, all participants tested the sensitivity of the rod cells and the cone cells.
All participants then took home a crimson LED flashlight with a wavelength of 670nm and watched the light from the LED flashlight for three minutes each day. After two weeks, the sensitivity of their rod cells and cone cells was retested.
It turned out that the 670nm red light had no effect on young people. But there was a significant improvement in the sensitivity of cone cells (the ability to detect color) in people in their 40s and older, who improved by 20 percent. In addition, the sensitivity of the rod cells has been significantly improved.
The researchers note that studies have shown that simple, brief exposure to specific wavelengths of light slows the aging of photoreceptor cells in the retina, significantly improving vision loss in older adults.