British scientists have found that staring in a red light for three minutes a day helps maintain eyesight, as short pulses of long-wave red light activate retinal cells.
For some people, staring at a red light for three minutes may become routine daily, such as washing teeth, in order to avoid visual impairment with age. This finding was arrived at by a team of scientists headed by Glenn Jeffrey, who is a professor at the Institute of Ophthalmology at King’s College College, London.
The researchers published the results of their study on June 29 in the scientific journals The Gerontology of Gerontology.
24 people, aged between 28 and 72, without visual problems, participated in the study. Scientists initially examined the sensitivity of light receptors to the retina of the participants. These receptors consist of conical cells responsible for color vision, and the bacilli cells responsible for vision in the dark and peripheral vision, which is the vision of things outside the main center of vision.
In order to examine the conical cells, the participants received medications to broaden the pupil of the eye, then scientists asked them to try to recognize light signals of light in the dark. To examine the bacilli cells of the participants, they had to recognize obscure, dark colored letters.
After these tests, the participants received small headlamps, and they had to look at the red light of these headlamps for three minutes every day for two weeks, after which they would repeat these tests again.
Positive results for the elderly
The experiment was a success for those over the age of forty years, as the function of cone cells improved by one fifth, while there was no noticeable change in young adults.
It is striking that the ability to recognize blue color improves, and it is in the spectrum of colors that it is difficult to see clearly with age. The experiment also resulted in a significant improvement in the ability of bacilli cells of the participants.
What happens to the eye with age?
With age, our eyesight is diminishing, and Glenn Jeffrey says this “especially applies to people over the age of forty. With time, the retina weakens and the ability to see colors clearly. ” The reason for this is due to the aging cells of the retina, due to the weakness of the so-called “mitochondria” in these cells.
Mitochondria are a power generator for cells, and this energy is in the form of ATP molecules – an abbreviation of Adenosine triphosphate, which represents the fuel needed for vital processes in cells.
Retinal cells have the highest levels of mitochondria, and they are also the most energy users. Therefore, the effects of aging on the eyes appear before other body functions. Over time, ATP energy production decreases by 70%, which causes the retina to weaken and thus the eyesight is significantly reduced when we age.
How does the red light help?
Jeffrey explains how to use red light to improve eyesight, saying, “The mitochondria absorb light in the wavelength range of 650 to 1,000 nanometers, and this improves the performance of the eyes and increases energy production in retinal cells.” Previous experiments on mice, fruit flies and hummingbirds showed a significant improvement in their light receptors when exposed to red light in the wavelength range of 670 nanometers, which was also used in human experiments.
Glen Jeffrey likened treatment with red light to charge a battery. “It is possible to improve vision greatly in the elderly by exposing them to short pulses of long-wave light, which charges the retinal cells with the energy they lack,” according to the doctor.
Source: Deutsche Welle