Visual perception is a key part of our conscious experience, and something so integral to our day-to-day functioning. Approximately 80% of how we learn and process information, how we perceive the world around us, and keep ourselves out of harm's way comes through our most important and relied on sense, our vision.
With age our overall eye health can decline even if you have had perfect 20/20 most of your life. Signs like fine print or reading close up - especially on devices- can become challenging, This change is normal and referred to as presbyopia, which commonly begins to develop between age 40 and 60, it can progressively get worse over time.
Needing more light for reading and tasks or being more sensitive to it, seeing more glares even differentiating between certain shades if color can all be signs of changes to the lenses in your eyes.
They can become less clear, less flexible and overall have less ability to focus light into the retina.
Dry, red or irritated eyes due to reduced tear production is common especially in women due to hormone changes later in life.
If you are dealing with other medical concerns like diabetes, glaucoma/macular degeneration or even just work in a visually demanding environment, more factors may accelerate decline to your ocular health.
Both practitioners and home users are exploring the emerging research on the benefits of red light therapy for optimal ocular health.
Known for its ability to relieve pain, accelerate healing and a number of other benefits, red light treatments may provide a less invasive, more accessible treatment and prevention option over surgery, costly eyewear or other more traditional means.
Benefits of using a Red light therapy
Red light therapy technologies are being used for health, beauty, even athletic performance and recovery.
In last months blog article How Does Red Light Therapy Work we highlighted some of the more popular benefits of using a red light therapy;
- boosting blood flow and lymphatic fluid movement, known to be beneficial for a number alleviating a range symptoms
- to relieve pain and reduce inflammation due to exercise or injuries, arthritis or joint pain, and many other chronic issues.
- to repair the skin surface and treat wrinkles, sunspots, heal sores and scrapes, making it ideal for eczema and psoriasis.
We benefit from red light in many of the same ways that we gain from sunlight, less the harmful UV spectrums.
Other benefits known include detoxification, reduction of muscle tension, relaxation, improved circulation, weight loss, skin purification, lowered side effects of diabetes, boosting of the immune system and lowering of blood pressure.
Red light is believed to simulate our mitochondria, referred to as the powerhouse within our cells, energizing and boosting cell function, improves how they break down and absorb nutrients, making them do their work more effectively.
Best Type of Light for Eye Benefits
There is a large body of studies highlighting the use of both red and near infrared light with more and more applications being validated in both research and anecdotally with users. This is building a foundation for protocols and safe products suitable for more home use applications in the future.
Lifepro in no way recommends you begin using your light therapy self-care tools on your eyes, quite the contrary you should always follow our suggested product use guidelines.
We will continue to keep you informed about new emerging products and their benefits, but always recommend you discuss any potential treatment options first with your ophthalmologist or eye care provider.
How Does Red Light Work in the Eyes?
In the same way red light therapy stimulates our mitochondria to boost cellular function, helping to combat against the main cause of macular degeneration and glaucoma with numerous studies showing improved vision and may serve as a safe and effective means of prevention.
Optimal treatment times are still being explored and time of day also seems an important factor. A study from Nov 2021 found treatment early in the day far more effective and improving vision that later in the day and with much lower light energy levels than in previous studies.
Some studies are exploring red light therapy products to counteract the harmful effects of certain blue lights generated from exposure to our phones, computers and other devices that may have a negative impact on our mitochondria.
Exact Ideal Wavelength for Eye Health
Our eyes contain special cells called cone cells that can detect visible light in the range of 380 to 720 nanometres. Both red and near infrared light have been studied and proven to be safe and effective, specifically visible red light at 670nm has the most research for eye conditions but there has been positive effect shown in wavelengths at 630nm, 780nm, 810nm & 830nm.
It is important not to confuse LED light therapies with lasers. Both are used for a number of light therapy treatments with one exception, lasers are NOT safe for use on the eyes.
How Intense Should the Light Be?
The power or strength of the light varies between devices. In the majority of previous research a common target has been approximately 40 mW/cm2 .
In the recent study we have referenced energies used here are significantly lower at only 8 mW/cm2 and this was in combination with much shorter treatment times.
While what intensity and duration of red light therapy is ideal has yet to be determined, the amount of positive findings to date only validates this as a safe and effective means of improving and maintaining our ocular health.
Lifepro again wants to ensure you discuss all treatment options with your ophthalmologist or eye care provider, we hope to bring some specific light therapy tools to the market soon for your self-care needs.
Type of Light to Avoid
Blue light is higher energy than red light with wavelengths ranging between 400 and 450 nm. Blue light hazard is a term you may be hearing about and it refers to the potential for injury to the retina resulting from electromagnetic radiation-exposure generated in this spectrum.
We love our devices but frequent use and long exposure times can contribute to negative health effects to our body, in particular our eyes. Issues like impaired vision, distrusted sleep cycles even increasing the risk of macular degeneration.
Be cautious when using your devices, try to limit exposure and use screen protection (anti glare or dimming software) or eyewear to protect your eyes.
Lifepro offers protective eyewear for use with their light therapy devices and prefers to err on the side of caution until more definitive research outlining optimal settings becomes available.
You can explore our current light therapies for a wide range of health and self-care applications.