Light Therapy Showing Success As Retinal Treatment

According to an article in the August 6, 2020 edition of Ophthalmology Times, a procedure called photobiomodulation (PBM) has had recent success in treating eye diseases such as AMD, retinopathy of prematurity, and diabetic macular edema.

PBM, or low-level light therapy, is the application of monochromatic light to a part of the body with the aim of repairing tissues and reducing inflammation, edema, and pain. Like photosynthesis in plants, light in the far red and near-infrared spectral range, can stimulate the cells, causing a cascade of photochemical reactions that can reduce oxidative stress. Oxidation is well-known to be a primary cause of retinal degeneration.

PBM has been found to be safe, has no side effects, and is completely noninvasive. Nine PBM cycles were administered to a patient over 1 month. After 1 month and 6 months, the OCT scan showed reduced drusen. The patient obtained subjectively improved vision, less eye strain, more color contrast, higher definition, and better far and near uncorrected visual acuity. Contrast sensitivity improved from 1.8 to 2.0. Outcomes remained stable at the 6-month follow-up.

According to author Robert Pinelli, MD, “This case demonstrates a successful noninvasive treatment with improved quality of vision in dry AMD. Irradiation could, therefore, offer a new, noninvasive, adverse effect–free means of stimulating retinal stem cells to regenerate.”

SOURCE: “Photobiomodulation shows the power of light” by Robert Pinelli, MD (Ophthalmology Times, August 6, 2020). Published online at