Red Light Therapy
Author: Jason Higginbotham
BSc (Hons) MCOptom Prof Cert Glau Prof Cert Med Ret Prof Cert LV FBDO MBCLA
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy in myopia control is an emerging approach that utilises specific wavelengths of red light to potentially slow down the progression of myopia or near-sightedness.
This non-invasive treatment involves exposing the eyes to red light, which is believed to stimulate certain cellular processes within the eye, this appears to thicken a layer of blood vessels beneath the retina known as ‘the choroid’. Apparently, if the choroid is thicker, it helps to prevent eyeball growth.
However, it is important to note that the research on red light therapy for myopia control is still in its early stages, and more rigorous studies are needed to establish its effectiveness and optimal treatment protocols.
Therefore, while the initial findings are promising, it is essential to consult with an eye care professional or ophthalmologist to get the most up-to-date and accurate information on myopia control options.
Some evidence has shown a few patients had short-term reduction in their vision, but this returned fully and this only occurred in a tiny handful of patients.
TL;DR Key Points
Red light therapy is an emerging approach for myopia control.
It utilises specific wavelengths of red light to potentially slow down the progression of myopia.
The therapy involves exposing the eyes to red light, which may stimulate cellular processes in the eye and improve vision.
More rigorous studies are needed to establish its effectiveness and determine optimal treatment protocols.
A recently published randomised clinical trial demonstrated the efficacy of RLRL (repeated low-level red-light therapy) as a novel intervention for preventing myopia in children with premyopia. The study revealed a significant reduction of up to 54.1% in incident myopia within 12 months, highlighting the intervention's effectiveness.
Red Light Therapy
A non-invasive treatment option
When performed properly, red light therapy is generally considered safe, with minimal side effects.
Despite there being few studies on effectiveness, the results have been promising.
Red light therapy may not work equally well for everyone.
Research on effectiveness is still in the early stages and limited
Currently, there is no consensus on the optimal dosage, duration, and frequency of red light therapy.
Red light therapy devices are costly, and access to professional-grade equipment may be limited.