Declining eyesight improved by looking at deep red light

(sciencedaily.com)

270 points | by alister 156 days ago

26 comments

  • Uptrenda 156 days ago

    This makes me think of Bulletproof Executive's self-improvement blog. He was always talking about mitochondria and hacking cells with certain light wave-lengths and lasers. I thought it was very far-fetched at the time... but maybe he was onto something.

    Related links: https://www.bulletproof.com/sleep/sleep-hacks/light-hacking-...

    He talks about the red light idea there and the crazy laser idea I'm remembering I think was "low-level light therapy." Appears to be based on science: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4355185/pdf/nih...

    • manmal 156 days ago

      It’s not far fetched at all. There are thousands of studies on the benefits of red light and near infrared light. Here’s the most comprehensive collection I have seen yet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZKl5Me4XwPj4YgJCBes3...

      • 1MachineElf 156 days ago

        Several years ago, Dave Asprey (Bulletproof Executive) was one of the most positive influences on my diet/wellness. It's too bad that his constant hustle, eccentricity, and "going against the mainstream" attitude rub a lot of people the wrong way.

        • mindfulhack 155 days ago

          Me too. These days, to me Dave Asprey's a mixed bag.

          He's the guy who's claimed for years that he's going to live past 180. But in reality, he has aged in a frightening way, much faster than the average person. He looks 20 years older than he did 6 years ago.

          Maybe it's because of too much biohacking? The body is just not built for so much modification for such long periods of time?

          But I don't take issue with his pursuit, and I wish him well. Perhaps he'll prove us wrong when something suddenly clicks when he's 80 and he actually starts decreasing in age again. I'm not being sarcastic. If he wants to keep trying, good on him.

      • alister 156 days ago

        Questions:

        (a) Does this study sound plausible?

        (b) Would staring at the correct red color on a monitor work? Or would that not work since monitor colors are generated by mixing R, G, and B pixels and therefore not a pure wavelength?

        (c) Would it be reasonable methodology to test one eye to see if it improves over the other eye?

        • emn13 156 days ago

          As to question (b): the wavelength is not the same.

          The red primaries in most color spaces, including wide-ish stuff like DCI-P3 is around 615. Even Rec 2020 is just 630.

          https://clarkvision.com/articles/color-spaces/

          Note that it's fairly common to see chromaticity diagrams labelled with wavelengths around the edges, so you can check multiple sources if you want.

          I didn't read the original article in sufficient depth to tell you if the researchers even know what 615nm would do, but it's not 670nm anyhow ;-).

          Incidentally, the linked article also includes measured spectral responses for a few wide gamut screens, some of which have at least some response near 670nm. The most extreme on that page was the Del 3007WFP-HC LED, which peaked at 653, and has a wide peak hitting well over 700nm too (but below 650 too). A 2019 model Samsung Q80R qled TV (perhaps more common), had a peak at 632 nm, and at 670nm is about 20% as bright as at its peak.

          • alister 156 days ago

            Another question:

            (d) How much does the precise wavelength matter? The study used 670nm but also mentions the range 650-1000nm. Lots of red-light gadgets are available on Amazon but how do you verify the wavelength? I was thinking of an optical spectrum analyzer[1] but at $28,000 they are shockingly expensive. Even with raw LEDs bought from a reliable electronics distributor like Digi-Key, it would be nice to be able to measure it somehow.

            [1] https://www.thorlabs.com/newgrouppage9.cfm?objectgroup_id=52...

          • cycomanic 156 days ago

            (a) not a medical person so can't answer this

            (b) unlikely, monitors work by essentially filtering out undesired colors from white light. I don't believe that >650nm light is within the color gammut of monitors. That's quite a long wavelength and close to infrared. To give you an indication, the Helium Neon lasers which used to be very common in schools etc for laser demonstrations have a wavelength of 632nm. Even if the monitor could display this, the brightness would likely not be strong enough.

            (c) Could be, but it might be quite annoying to do.

          • Markoff 156 days ago

            C is the correct question to see, if this actually works

            • lsllc 156 days ago

              I have one of those aviator LED flashlights that has the red LED for chart reading at night without destroying your night vision.

              I'm going to give this a try!

              • briefcomment 156 days ago

                Please be careful, and stop as soon as you notice any discomfort.

                • eecc 156 days ago

                  Might be a good idea to stare at the light reflected from a white sheet of paper. The wavelength won’t change but the intensity (and FOV coverage ) certainly will

                  • GrayShade 156 days ago

                    How about putting a diffuser (like a sheet of paper) in front of it?

                  • lsllc 156 days ago

                    Of course! The red LED is actually fairly dim, it's designed for pilots trying to read charts while flying at night!

                    I got it for use with a telescope for looking operating a telescope without losing night vision.

                • lsiebert 156 days ago

                  This is the hex value for 670 nanometre red.

                  #ff0000

                  Per https://academo.org/demos/wavelength-to-colour-relationship/

                  • Etheryte 156 days ago

                    This only makes sense on a precisely calibrated display. On everything else, there's no way to tell what wavelength you actually end up with when you fill your screen with a color.

                    • contravariant 156 days ago

                      A perfectly calibrated display might still not be able to display pure wavelengths. At the very least if it's calibrated properly it won't normally do so at #ff0000 as pure 670nm is well outside the sRGB colour space.

                    • liziwizi 156 days ago

                      yes but when i drag the slider i see that 645-700nm is also ff0000.

                      i don't know how precise it should be..

                      • andy_ppp 156 days ago

                        I imagine the brightness of a monitor is not enough for there to be any effect but maybe I'm wrong?

                        • rbanffy 156 days ago

                          I would assume one needs a very good laser+DLP projection system to make this work.

                      • dwheeler 156 days ago

                        This seems dubious. What in world would be the mechanism?

                        On the other hand, I don't see the harm in doing this and it seems easy to replicate. Hopefully others will quickly try to replicate it, and if they do, try to figure out why.

                        • briefcomment 156 days ago

                          Red light is established as a powerful trigger of cell repair mechanisms. Sunlight is a massive source of red light (and other colors) and if you stay indoors as much as the average person does, shining artificial red light on yourself may help make up for deficiencies.

                          • klipt 156 days ago

                            Wow, it even decreases dementia? Crazy

                            https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/red-light...

                            I guess the new LED bulbs miss a lot of frequencies that were present in incandescent (black body radiation) bulbs. I wonder if we'll see a bunch of "light frequency deficiency" diseases arising as a result.

                            • jodrellblank 156 days ago

                              > "Intranasal Light Therapy involves the simple process of clipping a small red light diode to the nose to illuminate the nasal cavity. Researchers have found that this act initiates the process of healing a large number of health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sinusitis, dementia and various viral infections." - http://www.drgcohen.com/site/healing-approach/intranasal-lig...

                              The more panacea it is, the more woo it probably is, eh?

                              [Edit: NB. Nitric Oxide is produced in the paranasal sinus cavities[1], and when inhaling through the nose it gets drawn into the body. It appears to be involved in arterial flexibility, increasing blood flow, decreasing blood pressure, immunity, neurotransmission, and relatedly treating erectile dysfunction. Humming appears to increase the production of Nitric Oxide[3]. Maybe the red light up the nose just makes you breathe through your nose?]

                              [1] https://thorax.bmj.com/content/54/10/947

                              [3] https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.200202-138...

                              • mrob 156 days ago

                                [3] does not claim that humming increases production of NO. It claims that humming improves air exchange between the parasinuses (which produce NO) and the nasal cavity. This results in increased exhalation of NO. Production was not measured.

                              • klipt 156 days ago

                                Some of it may be woo, but searching Google Scholar for photobiomodulation does seem to bring up some legit looking journal articles.

                                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5215795/

                              • trophycase 156 days ago

                                It's not implausible. How many modern "ailments" are simply the result of not doing what our bodies were adapted to.

                                • verdverm 156 days ago

                                  This is why I bought a squatty potty and make sure to walk for an hour most days.

                                  Physical evolution does not keep up so well with modern society's pace of change and understandings therein.

                                  • dahfizz 156 days ago

                                    > Physical evolution does not keep up so well with modern society's pace of change and understandings therein.

                                    Indeed, we are all stone age hardware trying to run modern software.

                                    • ethanwillis 155 days ago

                                      My uncle would say he was analog in a digital world.

                                    • jodrellblank 156 days ago

                                      Evolution is trying to kill you off; if you want it to work faster, stop fighting it!

                                      • chadcmulligan 156 days ago

                                        > walk for an hour most days

                                        I've started doing the 10,000+ steps for a couple of years, and yes there does seem to be a difference to my health and energy.

                                        • saiya-jin 156 days ago

                                          Why shouldn't it, all parts of the body needs a frequent stimulation, otherwise process of minimizing energy output (ie for tissue maintenance, repair of muscles and joints, etc.) kicks in.

                                          Our bodies are a bit dumb in this, albeit with good intentions - momentarily preserve energy, make body weaker long term. It made sense in the past though, otherwise we wouldn't be probably here.

                                          • chadcmulligan 155 days ago

                                            Yes indeed, its interesting the different quantities I've noticed - like up to 17,000 my body really ramps up, I could do that every day, and often do, but I did 30,000 the other day I was tired the next day. Though when I started 5,000 was a major achievement. I'd love to see wider studies on this, like do muscles change? and how etc. I guess sports science focuses on athletes, Is there much average Joe science? apart from weight loss. I'm amazed also at how easy walking is, and how little calories I burn walking - which is why I started - to lose a few pounds.

                                • kart23 156 days ago

                                  Do a bit of reading on the mitochondria, ATP and the electron transport chain. I still don't understand exactly the mechanism, but it seems that our cells might share some characteristics with photosynthetic cells, and certain kinds of light might increase energy production on a cellular level. From what I remember in bio class, light energy sets off chain reactions by displacing electrons in photosynthetic cells. This paper was from 2008, and they specifically call out low-intensity red light and near-infrared light. Seems like this idea has been floating around for a while now, and somewhat well backed up.

                                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996814/ https://photosynthesiseducation.com/photosynthesis-in-plants...

                                  • troughway 156 days ago

                                    If only more people would take the time to read the existing literature and studies before they say things like "this is dubious" without having a shred of understanding what it is they are talking about.

                                  • jb775 156 days ago

                                    I think it seems a little dubious as well just considering the study was done with only 24 ppl.

                                    If it works, I'd imagine the mechanism is something on the cellular level, similar to how blue light disturbs sleep by stirring up activity within a certain type of retinal cell.

                                    • SubiculumCode 156 days ago

                                      While the sample is small, the article states "Researchers built on their previous findings in mice, bumblebees and fruit flies, which all found significant improvements in the function of the retina's photoreceptors when their eyes were exposed to 670 nanometre (long wavelength) deep red light." This might not be so out-of-the-blue implausible.

                                    • ponker 156 days ago

                                      Mechanisms are not always obvious. 40 Hertz blinking light has been conclusively proven/replicated to reduce amyloid plaques in mice, which may offer a path towards Alzheimer’s treatment. Most people wouldn’t have believed you before the replications succeeded.

                                      • dwheeler 154 days ago

                                        I agree, mechanisms are not always obvious. In the short term the only thing that matters is, "does it work?" If a larger study replicates the positive benefits of red light, well then, let's use it for that purpose!! But I would like to know why...!

                                      • plutonorm 156 days ago

                                        I read a paper a while back that suggested it improved mitochondrial function.

                                      • wincy 156 days ago

                                        I have Phillips Hue and turn them 100% red at night as we're going to bed, sometimes for a few hours, no idea if it's helping my eyesight though. Been doing it for a few years.

                                        • danielbln 156 days ago

                                          Why are you doing it?

                                          • kd5bjo 156 days ago

                                            There have been persistent claims that cool color-temperature (bluish) light in the evenings disrupts sleep quality. I unfortunately can’t remember if that comes from rigorous studies or pop psychology.

                                            • DarthGhandi 156 days ago

                                              The application flux has a lengthy list of studies on their site.

                                              I struggle for any period of nighttime on a screen without it now.

                                              https://justgetflux.com/research.html

                                              • visres 156 days ago

                                                The reason why it may be useful to avoid blue light at night is that circadian rhythms and melatonin production can be disrupted due to ganglion cell stimulation. They are a class of photoreceptors that have peak sensitivity to blue light. They do not appear to contribute much in the way of spatial vision but are important to entrain day night cycles and for pupillary responses. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrinsically_photosensitive_r...

                                              • discordance 156 days ago

                                                Not op, but I actually remember reading about a study where exposure to red light before waking up can help with addressing alertness after waking.

                                                Here it is: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6506010/

                                                I also know that astronomers use red light while ‘scoping as it doesn’t impact the eyes sensitivity

                                            • aaron695 156 days ago

                                              If this is real it's a huge deal.

                                              But unless they did a pre study release this is P hacked to death.

                                              24 people, then narrowed to only over 40, 20% difference in some frequencies.

                                              If science worked we'd immediately re-test this. The cost savings per year could be enormous if it's true.

                                              • Markoff 156 days ago

                                                SOME over 40, not even all over 40 and SOME of these up to 20%, I guess the others less or no difference, so in the end you end up with individuals you can count on one hand

                                                if they were serious why they didn't try this only on one eye to compare the effect on each person?

                                                • meddlepal 156 days ago

                                                  Doing it on one eye per person would leave people with very unbalanced vision if it works great. That creates a QoL issue. Not enough understanding of the mechanism to then correct the other eye to the same level other than trying a "state at it for the same time approach".

                                                  • Markoff 156 days ago

                                                    maximum improvement was only 20%, for most none or less than 20% and only in dark enviroment, I don't think few weeks would really make any significant difference or discomfort which could not be reversed during next few weeks when you can exercise the other eye, so that's not really valid reason why not to do it this way

                                                • charlieflowers 156 days ago

                                                  If no corporation can make billions, it would likely go untested.

                                                  There's nothing that drives altruistic development of things that improve peoples' lives. There's only greed-driven capitalism. As a result, many helpful things sit on the shelf.

                                                • ars 156 days ago

                                                  I wonder if our eyes need campfires when we are older, just like they need bright sunlight when children in order to properly develop and function. (Myopia is caused by insufficient bright light as a child.)

                                                  Campfires have a LOT of deep red light.

                                                  • tkahnoski 156 days ago

                                                    I can't wait for doctor prescribed sunsets and campfires.

                                                    • harry8 156 days ago

                                                      >Myopia is caused by insufficient bright light as a child

                                                      That seems like an /extremely/ dubious assertion. Maybe it's counter-intuitive and correct? Anything to back it?

                                                      • mikkelam 156 days ago

                                                        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-sightedness

                                                        It is described here in the top section

                                                        • harry8 156 days ago

                                                          Tentative evidence indicates that the risk of near-sightedness can be decreased by having young children spend more time outside.[4][7]

                                                          So that's a very, very much weaker claim "time outside may affect ..." and acknowledges the role of genetics and other factors. Of those 2 references I looked at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5599950/

                                                          I declare I have no expertise in the field but also didn't find the meta-analysis paper convincing.

                                                          This one: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26372583/

                                                          Looks the most promising. I couldn't find a replication.

                                                          So there could be something in "time outside" as a beneficial preventative measure for some children w.r.t. myopia. There is nothing much like "Myopia is caused by insufficient bright light as a child" as I understand that sentence. But maybe I've misunderstood?

                                                          • ars 156 days ago

                                                            When I last looked into it, it seemed they were much more sure. Perhaps Wikipedia editors wanted refs that were more tempered.

                                                            Any explanation of myopia must explain why it is far more prevalent now. Genetics does not explain that.

                                                            • harry8 156 days ago

                                                              Not having a full explanation when there isn't yet one is ok. Genetics is clearly and obviously a major predictor of developing myopia. Any explanation not taking genetics into account is likely very wrong. Or we're goipng to be amazingly surprised! (And maybe in a good way! But sadly, I doubt it.) Genetics explains why being tall is much more prevalent in the Netherlands now. Always had those genetics, now with better nutrition. Eh, hopefully we'll find out.

                                                              (Now we've had the relevant part of the conversation will you please humour me as I whinge like a 3 y.o. about how much it s&%ts me on some of the days I can't see straight? Good. Thanks. As you were...)

                                                              • suby 156 days ago

                                                                Certainly in some cases it is caused by genetics, but from what I've read, the evidence suggests that some other factor is at play for the overwhelming majority of cases. Here is an excerpt from a nature article which leads me to believe that this is the case.

                                                                https://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120

                                                                > East Asia has been gripped by an unprecedented rise in myopia, also known as short-sightedness. Sixty years ago, 10–20% of the Chinese population was short-sighted. Today, up to 90% of teenagers and young adults are. In Seoul, a whopping 96.5% of 19-year-old men are short-sighted.

                                                                I don't know how that change is possible in one generation if genetics are to blame. It's possible I'm missing something though.

                                                                • kwhitefoot 156 days ago

                                                                  What proportion of the population had their eye sight measured 60 years ago in China (or anywhere)?

                                                                  Is it certain that we are comparing like for like? Many more people everywhere do work that requires a lot of reading now than 60 years ago even in the northern Europe so perhaps myopia is more often diagnosed now simply because it is more of a problem in the modern environment.

                                                                  • webmaven 156 days ago

                                                                    You don't necessarily have to have measured the prevalence of myopia among children 60 years ago to extrapolate from the prevalence of myopia among 70yo today (since myopia is, by and large, a progressive condition and not typically reversed spontaneously).

                                                                    Sure, you have to be worried about selection biases of all sorts including survivorship bias (eg. suppose myopic people mostly died before they reached 50), but in general, if myopia is as high or higher among 20yo than 60yo today, it tells you something pretty darn significant.

                                                    • mannanj 156 days ago

                                                      There are whole companies dedicated to selling this, Google red light therapy and you'll find a few. Novothor is the gold standard for athletes at $100k/pop. I myself jerry-rigged my own comparable unit and bath in it everyday- I haven't noticed eyesight benefits but I'm convinced I feel healthier and stronger as a result.

                                                    • Markoff 156 days ago

                                                      I have my doubts about results of study with only 24 participants aged 28-72 years where they say SOME people over 40 have seen improvements, why don't tell how many of these SOME people were over 40? We will end up with what, 5-10 people who saw some improvement? That's anecdotic evidence.

                                                      • lrpublic 153 days ago

                                                        Similar software with different usage models can be extremely useful and support mentoring and staff development.

                                                        I’ve been using tools like manictime and more recently the open source activitywatch to help junior staff learn how to manage their own activities.

                                                        I also use a paper based system similar to the emergent time tracker[3] for the same purpose.

                                                        The key difference in approach is these are tools are for the individual to use to record their own activities, either to later record in other tools like JIRA or simply to remember and review their work.

                                                        Time tracking and activity logging is really important for some businesses, but having a sensible approach from senior management is critical to avoid them becoming self defeating. When I ask my colleagues to log their time I set and expection that useful accuracy of more than 60% is unachievable.

                                                        Whenever a senior manager suggests that developers need to log more time in JIRA I tell them they are focused on the wrong data points and will end up with every developer logging a flat 8 hours a day - probably with an automated script. Maybe useful for billing but nothing else.

                                                        https://www.manictime.com/

                                                        https://github.com/ActivityWatch/activitywatch

                                                        [3] https://davidseah.com/node/the-emergent-task-timer/

                                                        • neom 156 days ago

                                                          A quick google search shows that 670nm lights are quite commonly made and easy to obtain, amazon has a plethora of them (although 660nm is considerably more common).

                                                          • neom 156 days ago

                                                            I emailed the professor who did the research and asked about 660 vs 670:

                                                            "Yes I am aware that the 670nm LEDs are hard to come by, they are also rather variable between batches which has caused a lot of problems for us as we now have to test extensively. I think 660nm will work. Question is, will it work as well as the 670nm? I suspect not. But also I do not know if this can be compensated for by longer exposures etc etc… There are a lot of variables here that we do not know about"

                                                            • theelous3 156 days ago

                                                              Nice. Good job reaching out to the horses mouth :)

                                                          • thomk 156 days ago

                                                            Do you stare deeply at a red light OR do you stare at a light that is the color deep red? If traffic lights count, I should be able to see through walls by now!

                                                            • s9w 156 days ago

                                                              I'm not sure why the comments here seem so dismissive. The mechanism that eyes need red light for regenerative processes is known for a long time I think. I remember a friend working in optics telling me about that a decade ago. Eyes are adapted for sunlight, which is more than plausible.

                                                              It's just not popular because it implies that screen use is bad and those unpopular scientific topics are often pushed under the rug.

                                                              • car 156 days ago

                                                                Source please.

                                                                • s9w 156 days ago

                                                                  Frankly my experience with posting sources on HN has almost never been good. It's often just taken as a reason to pick those apart and start a flamewar. My comment above has been downvoted at least 5 times which makes me confident that this is one those times.

                                                                  For what it's worth I have no stakes in anything and no sources at hand. I remember having read at least two different studies about this, but it has been years. I'm sure your google-fu is as good as mine so maybe you can find something.

                                                                  • car 156 days ago

                                                                    Surely it’s not controversial to post a scientific publication supporting your claims.

                                                                    I suggest you Google-fu yourself.

                                                                    • s9w 156 days ago

                                                                      A quick search turned up the following. The list is non-exhaustive and wasn't vetted in detail.

                                                                      2017: Aging Retinal Function Is Improved by Near Infrared Light (670 Nm) ...

                                                                      "Our data suggest, 670 nm light can significantly improve aged retinal function"

                                                                      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28129566/

                                                                      ---------------------------------------------------

                                                                      2016: Red Light of the Visual Spectrum Attenuates Cell Death in Culture and Retinal Ganglion Cell Death in Situ

                                                                      " Low, non-toxic levels of red light focussed on the retina for a short period of time are sufficient to attenuate an insult of raised IOP to the rat retina"

                                                                      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26928988/

                                                                      ---------------------------------------------------

                                                                      2015: Mitochondrial Decline Precedes Phenotype Development in the Complement Factor H Mouse Model of Retinal Degeneration but Can Be Corrected by Near Infrared Light

                                                                      "we provide evidence for a mitochondrial basis for this disease in mice and correct this with simple light exposure known to improve mitochondrial function"

                                                                      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26149919/

                                                                      ---------------------------------------------------

                                                                      2013: 670 nm light mitigates oxygen-induced degeneration in C57BL/6J mouse retina

                                                                      "These results suggest that pretreatment with 670 nm light may provide stability to photoreceptors"

                                                                      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24134095/

                                                                      ---------------------------------------------------

                                                                      2013: Low-Intensity Far-Red Light Inhibits Early Lesions That Contribute to Diabetic Retinopathy: In Vivo and In Vitro

                                                                      "Daily 670-nm PBM treatment resulted in significant inhibition in the diabetes-induced death of retinal ganglion cells"

                                                                      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23557732/

                                                                      ---------------------------------------------------

                                                                      2013: Paranode Abnormalities and Oxidative Stress in Optic Nerve Vulnerable to Secondary Degeneration: Modulation by 670 Nm Light Treatment

                                                                      "Light at a wavelength of 670 nm may serve as a therapeutic intervention for treatment of secondary degeneration following neurotrauma"

                                                                      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23840470/

                                                                      ---------------------------------------------------

                                                                      2012: Age-related Retinal Inflammation Is Reduced by 670 Nm Light via Increased Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

                                                                      "670 nm light [...] significantly increased mitochondrial membrane polarization and significantly reduced macrophage numbers and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels"

                                                                      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22595370/

                                                                      • jcynix 156 days ago

                                                                        And this site includes an interesting chart of effective light frequencies:

                                                                        "This chart pulled from the Joovv site shows that one of the receptors of light energy in our body, Cytochrome C Oxidase, absorbs many more photons at certain wavelengths."

                                                                        https://primalhacker.com/blogs/learn/red-light-photobiomodul...

                                                                        • car 155 days ago

                                                                          Thanks for posting, I appreciate it. This effect is quite interesting.

                                                                • rbanffy 156 days ago

                                                                  Finally I found a medical reason to get myself an IBM 3290 terminal.

                                                                  https://scontent-dub4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/49342347_11605...

                                                                  • nils-m-holm 156 days ago

                                                                    How about wearing laser goggles that block out, for instance, 200..550nm and 800..1000nm? Wouldn't that be like looking into a deep red light source?

                                                                    • WhyNotHugo 156 days ago

                                                                      I wonder if people who aggressively use redshift and warmer lights at home could be positively affected by this over the years.

                                                                      • mettamage 156 days ago

                                                                        There's a confounding effect: I'm using Flux quite a bit and I'm noticing it reduces my eye strain by quite a bit.

                                                                      • giardini 156 days ago

                                                                        Since I returned to commuting, I've been watching far more red lights. Finally I know why my sight is improving!

                                                                        • kgwxd 156 days ago

                                                                          What's the wavelength of the red you see when facing the sun with your eyes closed? I remember seeing some claim a few years ago (can't find it right now) that doing that every day would improve eyesight.

                                                                          • robterrell 156 days ago

                                                                            Not sure about the wavelength, but I believe the claim can be found in Aldous Huxley’s “The Art of Seeing” which is an account of vision therapies using the Bates method.

                                                                          • masonic 154 days ago

                                                                            "Our devices cost about £12 to make, so the technology is highly accessible to members of the public."

                                                                            Can anybody tell me where to find a reasonably precise 670nm torch at that price point?

                                                                            • mrrobotchicken 156 days ago

                                                                              My eyesight has been getting worse since I was addicted to reading Agatha Christine at age 14-16. After 14 years the decline has not stopped, this is definitely worth a shot.

                                                                              • Terretta 156 days ago

                                                                                > eyesight ... worse since ... reading Agatha Christie

                                                                                Like they say, an Agatha Christie a day keeps eyesight acuity away.

                                                                              • Der_Einzige 156 days ago

                                                                                Mechanism is by reducing the blue light hazard right? This is the same thing as why red light is used is the astronomy community to preserve night vision.

                                                                                • Fred27 156 days ago

                                                                                  This may improve colour sensitivity, but by far the biggest vision problem due to ageing is long-sightedness. This does nothing for that.

                                                                                  • mschaef 156 days ago

                                                                                    > This may improve colour sensitivity,

                                                                                    It looks like it also improves low-light sensitivity, which is arguably more useful than colour sensitivity.

                                                                                    "Rod sensitivity (the ability to see in low light) also improved significantly in those aged around 40 and over,"

                                                                                    > by far the biggest vision problem due to ageing is long-sightedness.

                                                                                    I had cataracts at a young age, and had my natural lenses replaced with fixed-focus implants. There were lots of positives after the procedure, but the downside was an immediate loss of any ability to focus. (Progressive loss of ability to focus is why long-sightedness becomes an issue as you age, and this is a complete loss of that ability in fifteen minutes.)

                                                                                    It may be that I have a 1.5D (intentional) delta in the two lenses, but loss of focusing ability hasn't been that bad so far. In fact, I can now write this on a laptop without any external correction at all. At least from my anecdotal experience, I'd characterize long-sightedness as potentially frustrating, but easily manageable.

                                                                                    What scares me, though, are retinal issues (the ATP loss described in the paper, as well as others). Treatment options there are generally far less effective and far more intrusive.

                                                                                    • ConsiderCrying 156 days ago

                                                                                      The paper also talks about improving retina sensitivity alongside color sensitivity, aren't these two different methods? How relevant is the former?

                                                                                    • yahma 153 days ago

                                                                                      The most important detail is missing from the articles. What intensity of light is reaching the eyes?

                                                                                      • neves 155 days ago

                                                                                        I have a multi colored smart lamp. Which configuration can be considered a "deep red light"?

                                                                                        • neves 155 days ago

                                                                                          This is the article specification:

                                                                                          "...improvements in the function of the retina's photoreceptors when their eyes were exposed to 670 nanometre (long wavelength) deep red light."

                                                                                          Can it be obtained with a normal led light?

                                                                                        • consultutah 156 days ago

                                                                                          So I guess I can’t just make a red image on my phone and stare at it. Right?

                                                                                          • infogulch 154 days ago

                                                                                            What about fire makes you want to look at it? Maybe this is one reason.

                                                                                            • msie 156 days ago

                                                                                              Red light plus bloodletting? Health centres are going to look like dungeons at this rate.