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Declining eyesight can be improved by looking at red light, pilot study says

June 30, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Just a few minutes of gazing into a small red light each day may help stave off eyesight decline as we age, a new study finds. If the results are replicated in future studies, the work could have relevance for a spectrum of aging-related conditions.

A few minutes of looking into a deep red light could have a dramatic effect on preventing eyesight decline as we age, according to a new study published this week in The Journals of Gerontology.

It would give them a new layer of protection against the natural aging processes that steal our eyes' sensitivity to light and ability to distinguish colors.

Improvement, however, was most significant in study participants over age 40.

This new study in humans builds on results in fruit flies and in mice, which also showed that red light could improve the functioning of mitochondria.

And a 2017 study of visible red light at the edge of infrared reported a 25% improvement in the functioning of retinas in mice.

Longer-term independent safety studies of red lights in humans would have to garner similar benefits for this method of eyesight protection to be approved by the FDA.

The researchers all tested the red lights on their own eyes before beginning the study and have found no ill effects.

That's a main reason why Jeffery and his colleagues sought to test out the red lights in a specific area of aging such as eyesight decline.

Red lights can improve function in a range of diseases, particularly in the mitochondria in those undergoing aging with conditions such as Parkinson's, he noted.

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