Staring at a particularly colored light for three minutes every day can significantly improve people's declining eyesight, claimed a new study.

Experts at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, in their first of a kind study in humans, revealed staring at a deep red light for three minutes per day can help improve eyesight. They believe the findings of this study could signal the dawn of new affordable home-based eye therapies that can help millions of individuals worldwide with naturally declining vision.

“As you age your visual system declines significantly, particularly once over 40. Your retinal sensitivity and your color vision are both gradually undermined, and with an aging population, this is an increasingly important issue. To try to stem or reverse this decline, we sought to reboot the retina's aging cells with short bursts of longwave light," MedicalXpress quoted the study’s lead author, Professor Glen Jeffery.

The natural decline in eyesight

In human beings, the cells in the eye’s retina start aging when an individual is around 40 years old. This happens when the cell’s mitochondria begin to decline. In the retina’s photoreceptor cells, the mitochondrial density is greatest.

This results in faster aging of the retina compared to other organs, thereby leading to a significant decline in photoreceptor function as they lack the energy to perform their normal role.

The researchers recruited 24 individuals (12 male and 12 female) in the age group 28 to 72, without any ocular diseases. They tested all the study participants' eyes for the sensitivity of their rods and cones.

Rods and cones are photoreceptor cells located in the retinas of the eyes. While rods are responsible for vision at low light levels, cones are those that are needed to detect colors.

The researchers then gave them a small LED torch to take home. The participants were asked to stare into the deep red light beam for three minutes every day for two weeks. They were then re-tested for their rod and cone sensitivities.

The findings of the study revealed the deep red 670nm light beam had no impact on younger people, but obtained significant improvements in those around 40 years old.

Key findings:

  • Cone color sensitivity improved by around 20% in those aged 40 and above
  • Improvements were more significant in the blue part fo the color spectrum that gets vulnerable during the aging process
  • Rod sensitivity improved significantly in those aged 40 and above

The researchers opined it was possible to significantly improve vision that has declined in aged people using simple brief exposure to light wavelengths. And they also highlighted the fact that the technology is simple, extremely safe, and costs just about £12 ($14.78).

Staring at red color light can improve declining vision ArmyAmber, Pixabay