A study conducted at University College London (UCL) may have discovered how to improve eyesight in a cost-effective and non-intrusive way: by looking at deep red light.

The study was published in the Journal of Gerontology. The researchers found that staring into deep red light for three minutes a day for at least two weeks dramatically recovered eyesight deficiencies.

“As you age your visual system declines significantly, particularly once over 40,” says Glen Jeffery of the UCL College of Ophthalmology.

“Your retinal sensitivity and your color vision are both gradually undermined, and with an aging population, this is an increasingly important issue,” he adds. 

The problem is, as we age, the mitochondrial cells in our eyes begin to absorb less light, thus producing less energy. This leads to a decline in sensitivity and color vision.

The cells in our eyes absorb some wavelengths of light better than others. Red light is very easily absorbed. 

More absorption = more energy production = better cellular health and eyesight. 

“Our study shows that it is possible to significantly improve vision that has declined in aged individuals using simple brief exposures to light wavelengths that recharge the energy system that has declined in the retina cells, rather like re-charging a battery,” according to Jeffrey.

Although their products are not yet available to the public, the red light technology used in the study only costs about $14, meaning it will be highly accessible to the public once released.