Red light is a safe and natural way to protect your eyes and help fight against various eye related issues according the the academic literature.
This article will cover off how red light therapy can be used on your eyes and what issues it can help alleviate. I will cover off 11 ways red light therapy can be good for your eyes and also address the question of whether red light therapy can hurt your eyes.
How Red Light Therapy Can Be Good For Your Eyes
One of the most comment questions we get is whether red light is good for your eyes. It is an interesting question and many products in the wellness market focus on blocking light to protect your eyes. Sunglasses protect against the damage that UV light may cause to your eyes and blue light glasses block blue light which protects your eyes from ocular damage.
The opposite is true for red light therapy. Red light has been shown in many studies to have healing properties for a number of conditions. The literature is indicating that your eyes are no exception to this rule.
Red light works by allowing more activity surrounding cytochrome c-oxidaise which increases cellular metabolism and creates more energy for healing. Studies are now showing that this is also true in the human eye.
As always at BON CHARGE we thoroughly review the scientific literature on any subject and have found some interesting work conducted on red light therapy and eye health. I have listed the 10 most studied areas of eye health combined with red light therapy. These are listed below.
Research indicates that an effective natural treatment for glaucoma is red light therapy. Glaucoma can cause vision loss over time and 60 million people. currently suffer from this condition. The chances of developing glaucoma increases as you age.
Currently there is no know cure of glaucoma so it comes down to managing the symptoms. If you have had your glaucoma medically diagnosed by a qualified health professional you can always add red light therapy to the mix of managing the symptoms.
Red light therapy has no side effects and can be a safe way to help with glaucoma. Red light therapy works by protecting the cornea and retina. Red light, when absorbed by a patient's eye can help promote cellular growth in the cornea and protect against vision loss associated with glaucoma, a 2017 study showed.
Whilst there is still more work to be done on red light therapy and glaucoma, the initial results are promising.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome from staring at a computer screen for too long is an annoying problem. Computer glasses are a good fix for this but studies are now showing red light therapy may be just as important.
Prolonged use of digital devices causes eyes to become dry and itchy. Too much time on your smart phone, laptop, watching TV or computer use can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome.
In 2022 a studied published in the Journals of Gerontology and conducted by the University College London, found that red light therapy can produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and help improve eye function.
This genetic disorder can lead to loss of peripheral vision and night blindness. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a degenerative disease that is linked back to mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the eye.
Whilst there has been no human trials yet on this debilitating condition there has been one conducted in 2012 on rodents. The researchers used red light at 670nm and near infrared light at 830nm to treat their eyes.
The study found that administering these frequencies of light into the rodent's eyes helped preserve normal retinal function and prevent cellular death.
We need to see more studies, especially in human's, before we can make any firm conclusions on whether infrared therapy is effective for this condition.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Over 200 million people suffer from age-related macular degeneration across the globe. As your eyes age their ability to produce ATP decreases by up to as much as 70%. This can then lead to inflammation, cell degeneration and finally visual decline. There is currently no know cure.
Red light therapy is widely reported to increase ATP production and works to regenerate cells. With less ability to produce optimum levels of ATP as we age, red light therapy can provide a boost to help prevent against macular degeneration.
The research also supports the claim that red light protects against age-related vision deterioration. One such study from 2018 followed 33 patients of 5 years, their average age was 67 and they suffered from macular degeneration. The studied showed that the group who had exposure to deep red light treatments had significant increases in visual acuity, no negative side effects and a decrease in edema, eye damage and haemorrhaging, which means mess damaged blood vessels.
Healing Optic Nerve Injuries
Optic nerve damage can be helped with red LED lights. Research from Australia have shown that red light is effective at restoring vision and preventing further cellular death following an optic nerve injury.
Ocular inflammation can increase oxidative stress in the eyes and lead to vision deterioration and other eye conditions. It has been shown that red light can help lower inflammation in the eye and help lower inflammation over the long term.
More Cellular Energy
Red light has been shown to stimulate the production of more energy in the eyes. More ATP production helps regenerate ocular cells and prevent against vision loss and other related eye diseases according to this study in mice.
Recovering From Ocular Implants
People who have lost an eye and have a "glass eye" can benefit from using red light therapy devices. Ocular prosthesis patients who used red light therapy treatments recovered 10 days faster than patients who just used the standard treatments. it showed that red light significantly improved recovery time for those patients.
Amblyopia is the technical name for "lazy eye". A clinical trial conducted in 2012 managed to treat amblyopia in a group of teenagers. Low level light therapy helped sharpen their vision. Participants under the age of 18 showed the most significant improvements.
Damage to the cornea can be hard to treat. When a foreign object scratches or become imbedded in the eye is can cause a lot of discomfort.
A 2011 study showed a 42% faster healing time after a foreign object had been removed from the eye when using red light therapy.
Chronic dry eyes can be treated with eye drops, surgery or a tear duct plug. However, some doctors are now using red light therapy to treat dry eyes. Brett Levinson is using this very method in his clinic.
How To Use Red Light Therapy For Eyes
Administering red light therapy into your eyes should never be performed at home without the blessing of a fully qualified medical practitioner. Even though light therapy is safe and has been shown in almost every study, its important to check with yoru doctor first.
Once your doctor has seen the device you are intending to use and approved its use for eye treatments you can then start using it. Start with a couple of minutes per day which improves vision over time.
We would not recommend staring directly at the LEDs in the red light panel as they can be very bright. You can do this every day for a couple of minutes.
Do You Need Eye Protection For Red Light Therapy?
If you are not convinced on the scientific literature on whether red light is good for your eyes, or if you are convinced red light is bad for eyes you can always wear eye protection.
Eye protection will stop the red and NIR light from passing through your eyes. Some people can also be sensitive to deep red light and by wearing protective goggles they can help eliminate the light sensitivity issues. What kind of eye protection for red light therapy is up to you. However, we recommend using these protective goggles or purchasing a Demi, Max or Super Max red light therapy device which includes protective goggles.
Is Flickering Red Light Bad For My Eyes?
Flicker is a major issue is LED lighting. Studies have shown that flicker can cause eye related issues. The majority of Light Therapy Devices on the market will flicker when you film them in slo-mo mode on yoru camera.
BON CHARGE Red Light Panels have had a special driver fitted to allow for a significant reduction in flicker which can give you peace of mind against any potential eye damage of flickering LED devices.
Red light is not bad for your eyes. In fact numerous studies support red light as good for your eyes. However, more studies are needed to bulk out the literature on this subject and shining any kind of light into your eyes should be greeted with caution.
Our advise would always be to seek advise from your doctor before embarking on any treatment plan on your own.
To find out more about red light therapy you can check out our full suite of science backed red light therapy devices.
BON CHARGE Red Light Therapy Devices are listed in the ARTG. This article does not substitute professional medical advise. This article is not intended as a treatment plan or a substitute for professional medical advise.