Is Red Light Bad for Your Eyes?

With red light therapy rising, we became interested in whether red light is bad for the eyes. Various studies claim to be a natural, safe, and effective treatment for various disorders and conditions and that it might even improve eyesight or act as eye protection. But is that true, or is red light bad for your eyes?

Does RLT cause eyestrain, and is the culprit behind the increase of various eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or other eye injuries?

Let’s talk about how red light works with your eyes and what precautions you should take before engaging in this type of therapy.

Is Red Light Bad for Your Eyes?


Eyes and Light

Natural sunlight may seem colorless, but it actually consists of all the colors from a virtual rainbow, red, yellow, orange, green, violet, and blue. Combining these colors forms a visible spectrum of light, often called “white light.” This light is measured in units that are known as wavelengths. In addition, there are invisible wavelengths of light, and they can be infrared light and ultraviolet light

No matter how powerful it may seem, the human body can be affected by light. For instance, the natural blue wavelengths of the sunlight (you may know them as the waves that make the sky seem blue) affect the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus is a small brain area that plays a crucial role in hormone production. The hypothalamus’s primary function is the regulation of the waking up and sleeping cycle. But since we are exposed to blue light for most of the day, red light therapy is a new way that can affect this cycle.

Red light therapy eye protection 

Red light is slowly getting recognized for the beneficial properties that it provides to the human body. This includes the eyes.

Red light at 630 to 660 nanometers and near-infrared light (NIR) at 810 to 850 nanometers are the most therapeutic wavelengths for the human body, and they have wide-reaching applications. The light treatments use LED or light-emitting diode devices that shine red or near-infrared light into the eye. This is a pain-free and safe way to administer red lights and get the benefits. 

It is 2023, and we excessively use electronic gadgets every single day. People spend hours staring at a screen and exposing their eyes to blue light, which could damage the retinal cells. This can cause vision problems like macular degeneration.

The display of electronic devices like laptops, computers, TVs, smartphones, and tablets, can affect your whole body’s function.

At times you can feel more tired after binge-watching a show than running for hours. Blue light during the daytime can cause cognitive functioning and even boost your mood, but at night, it can be disruptive and cause insomnia. 

But to be sure that devices that produce light while using RLT masks or panels won’t hurt your eyes, you can buy some of the best eye protection for LED light. RLT, as the name implies, uses red light to help soothe and relax the brain cells.

Usage of Red Light Therapy

The light can penetrate the eyelids because they are fragile and won’t breach too much by affecting the muscles and bones.

On the other hand, near-infrared light has a more profound absorption rate and can penetrate the bones, including the skull, and stimulate cell production. NIR can also reduce inflammation and heal wounds, strokes, and diseases.

The two types of light work great as a team and can stimulate every inch of your eyes, even if they are closed. 

Is Red Light Bad for Your Eyes? 

There is a ton of research done on red light therapy, and every study shows that red light therapy is safe and beneficial for your eyes if used with precaution. However, you should not take any action by yourself; a doctor must administer the therapy. 

Unlike UVA and UVB ultraviolet light, red light will not burn your eyes. You will only experience a gentle warmth during the whole process. Our eyes are very photosensitive, and damage is inevitable if you do too much exposure. Most medical professionals specializing in eyes say that three minutes a day of exposure to a red light is a great way to start.

How Often Should You Use Red Light Therapy

As we established, red light is safe and natural and has no adverse effects when properly administered. With that said, using this therapy on a daily basis may be too much. The perfect exposure to red light for any eye condition is three minutes per session three times a week for one to four months.

Eye conditions that can be treated with red light therapy

All of the studies done on red light suggest that it is painless and effective when it comes to age-related vision loss. Red light therapy can be helpful for a variety of eye disorders, and for that reason, this type of therapy has caught the attention of every ophthalmologist. Red light therapy may: 

The Final Verdict

So, is red light bad for your eyes? All of the research clearly shows that not only red light therapy is not bad for your eyes, but it also has a ton of beneficial properties that can help with age-related loss of vision.

We explained how this therapy could help with protecting retinal cells from damage, reduce vision loss, reduce inflammation, and speed up the healing process of any eye injury. Before using red light therapy, you should consult with your ophthalmologist and follow the exposure time they suggest.

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