Red light restores vision in aged eyes

How shining a light into the eyes recharges the retina
06 August 2020
Presented by Katie Haylor
Production by Chris Smith.


Fundus photograph-normal retina


It’s said that many things improve with age - wine, self confidence, perhaps your personal finances. Unfortunately, eyesight isn’t on that list and as we get older, our vision to deteriorate. And with an ageing population, this will become more and more of a problem, because the millions of rods and cones in the retina at the back of each of your eyes, which turn light into nerve signals to send to the brain, use a lot of energy. So the retina tends to burn out faster than the rest of the body. But now scientists have found that short bursts of a red light shone into your eyes could help reduce or even reverse this ageing process. It turns out that the red wavelength helps to recharge the retina’s mitochondria, which are structures inside cells that behave like miniature batteries. Katie Haylor spoke to Glenn Jeffery, who’s been looking at a group of 24 people with no eye disease for the study...


I'll have to start visiting the red light districts now that I have aged to 70 revolutions around the sun...

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