Red light therapy is a therapeutic procedure that can stimulate tissue to grow or heal. Red light therapy could help treat macular degeneration. However, further research is still necessary.
Red light therapy, or near-infrared light therapy, is a therapeutic technique that uses red or near-infrared (NIR) light to stimulate the growth or healing of tissue. The medical term for red light therapy is photobiomodulation (PBM).
Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is an eye disease that affects the macula. It typically worsens as a person gets older.
The macula is a part of the retina in the eye that is responsible for clean and sharp central vision. Central vision describes when a person is looking at objects directly in front of them. Blurry central vision is often one of the first signs of AMD.
In this article, we will discuss if red light therapy can treat AMD and the technique might work. It also explores if red light therapy can treat other eye conditions, if the procedure is safe, and more.
The medical term for red light therapy is PBM.
PBM defines a therapeutic procedure that emits short, repeated bursts of red or NIR from a laser beam, or more commonly, a light-emitting diode (LED), to help reduce inflammation and stimulate tissue growth and repair.
However, more research and clinical trials are necessary to establish the full efficacy of red light therapy for AMD.
A decline in the function of these mitochondria is one of the features of AMD. Red light therapy may directly prevent a decline in mitochondrial function.
Another feature of AMD is oxidative stress, which refers to an imbalance of antioxidants in the body. This imbalance can cause tissue and cell damage that may lead to AMD. Red light therapy may be able to help reduce some of the damage that oxidative stress can cause.
Red light therapy may also help reduce the amount of drusen in the retina. Drusen are yellow deposits underneath the retina that consist of fatty compounds, proteins, and cellular debris. Large amounts of drusen
A 2020 pilot study suggests that in people aged 40 years and older, red light therapy may improve retinal function. Additionally, a
However, there are currently no completed clinical trials with people, so
However, a person should only undergo red light therapy for AMD if a doctor recommends it. Additionally, they must not attempt to carry out any red light treatments at home.
LED lights emit less heat than laser surgery, avoiding any damage to the surrounding tissue.
Using LED lights to deliver red light therapy for AMD carries fewer safety concerns than laser therapy. If a person receives laser surgery for vision-threatening AMD, which differs from red light therapy to slow AMD progression, they may experience side effects. These include retinal bleeding, laser burns to healthy macular tissue, and additional vision loss.
Red light therapy is a therapeutic procedure that uses red, or near-infrared light (NIR), to stimulate the growth and healing of tissue.
Typically, a doctor may use red light therapy to heal wounds, calm acne, and reduce arthritis. However, research suggests that red light therapy could help slow down the effects of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by increasing the function of mitochondria in the cells.
Research suggests that red light therapy is a safe, noninvasive form of treatment for AMD. Red light therapy is different from therapeutic laser photocoagulation, which a doctor may use to treat active AMD lesions in the retina. Further research is necessary to confirm if red light therapy can help treat AMD.