Red Light Therapy Glasses: Do You Need Them?

Red Light Therapy Glasses: Do You Need Them?


With its increase in popularity, questions have arisen about whether R+ and NIR+ light exposure poses a health risk for the eyes, and if so, whether goggles should be used during treatment.  

Most high-powered devices like panels come standard with light blocking goggles, so does this mean that they’re absolutely necessary during treatment? 

In the following sections, we dive deeper into this topic. 


Is Red Light Therapy Safe for the Eyes? 

Red light therapy has been shown to be beneficial for the eyes with limited, peripheral treatment. 

Users should not be staring directly at the light diodes for the full duration of their treatment on a daily basis. 

However, the light wavelengths themselves are not dangerous to the eyes. What can pose a risk to eyesight are not the wavelengths, but rather the intensity of light, irrespective of its source. 

RLT works by getting as much exposure to the surface of the skin as possible. Whether it’s facial rejuvenation, soothing an aching knee or shoulder or helping your muscles recover from a workout, the idea is to expose your skin to R+ and NIR+ wavelengths.

Those using RLT for eye health should consult an ophthalmologist for specific guidelines, depending on their particular health profile. 


Does Red Light Therapy Require Eye Protection? 

Eye protection is generally recommended for those using red light therapy who are tempted to keep looking at the diodes or for those who find the light too intense for their eyes. 

As stated above, though, it is not required. It is the intensity of light in general that could cause harm to the eyes, not the R+ and NIR+ wavelengths. So, in this case, there is no ‘special’ danger posed to the eyes by red light therapy panels. 


RLT Eye Precautions Depending on Light Sensitivity

Children should always wear light-blocking goggles since their eyes are still developing and may be more sensitive.

Individuals with light sensitivity may also want to wear light blocking goggles.

Those taking photosensitizing medications should first consult with their doctor whether light therapy is safe.  

Closing Your Eyes

Both red and near infrared light can easily penetrate the eyelids. The incoming light won’t be as uncomfortably bright when your eyes are closed but the wavelengths are still absorbing into the eyes and again. 

Similarly, those who find the light to be intense while their eyes are closed should seek eye protection. 

Invisible Infrared Light

Remember, infrared light is invisible. If your light therapy device is set to near infrared and doesn’t appear to be on, or if some of the LEDs don’t appear to be lit, that’s because humans can’t perceive near infrared or far infrared wavelengths. 

Even if you can’t see it, your eyes are absorbing this electromagnetic radiation and prolonged exposure could be harmful.


What Are Red Light Therapy Glasses?

Red light therapy glasses are simply intended to protect from the intensity of exposure to RLT panels. 

Normal sunglasses are intended to block the amount of light coming into the eyes. This will decrease the intensity of the incoming light, but light will come in through the sides. Some sunglasses feature UV filters. Since red light therapy doesn’t contain UV light, this is not a benefit.

There are two types of red light therapy glasses: light-blocking and filtering. 

Some red light therapy glasses completely block all light. These are the glasses most often included with quality red light therapy devices. They look like swim goggles except they are all black, and create a light-proof seal around the eyes. These are the type of RLT glasses that come with every BIOMAX Series RLT panel. 

Other types are tinted green to filter out red and infrared wavelengths. The color green will filter out some of the red or infrared wavelengths, but not necessarily all of them. There will also be light infiltration from the sides unless the glasses are close-fitting.  

Green-colored red light therapy glasses won’t block blue or amber light, which is used in some red light therapy devices: and these can also be uncomfortably bright.


How to Select Glasses for RLT Treatment  

We recommend using light-blocking goggles instead of color-filtering red light therapy glasses. Goggles fit closely into your eye sockets and completely block the incoming light. 

This way, you can enjoy a relaxing 20-minute light therapy session without worrying about your eyes.


Eye Conditions Improved by Red Light Therapy

Now that we understand that prolonged exposure to intense red or near infrared light could cause eye strain, what about the benefits of red light therapy for the eyes? Recent research shows that red light therapy could be beneficial in treating age-related vision problems. 

Red light therapy works by supporting the mitochondria, which are the parts of your cells that give your cells energy. This helps cells in the eyes work better. Some of these benefits include faster cell repair and reduced inflammation.

Research suggests that red light has many health benefits for the eyes, such as treating myopia


Dry Eyes

Researchers evaluated the effects of red light therapy on patients with dry eye syndrome. The treatment promoted a significant decrease in eye dryness along with slight increases in meibomian gland secretion (the glands that moisturize the eyes). 


Aging Eyes

Mitochondrial dysfunction is a condition where the mitochondria in cells don’t produce enough energy. Therefore, healthy mitochondria are essential for eye health. Retinal cells, or neurons, are very “hungry” and require a lot of continuous energy in order to function properly. 

Over time, retinal mitochondria are often damaged by oxidative stress which leads to age-related retinal disorders including age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Retinal cells are extremely vulnerable to aging. 

Over the average lifespan, retinal cells’ energy production declines by 70% and the retina ages faster than other organs. The result of this energy production decline is a dramatic decline in retinal function. Researchers found that near infrared light exposure did not benefit younger individuals, but had a significant positive impact on the eyes of people 40 and older.  

Supporting healthy mitochondrial function shows promise in treating various types of age-related retinal diseases.

Near infrared light has been shown to increase ATP production (the primary cellular fuel) that is produced by the mitochondria. Near infrared light also decreases inflammation in the eyes that contributes to declining vision.  

In fact, the findings of the two studies linked above have been confirmed by another study that showed significantly improved retinal function in aging eyes after treatment with near infrared light.

A major 2021 review found that in addition to improving the energy production in retinal neurons, near infrared light also had antioxidant and circulatory benefits.

This is good news for an aging global population. A few minutes of red light therapy in the morning could be beneficial for your eyes; but longer red light treatments could prove to be too much.

Do not attempt to self-treat eye problems using red light. Always use the treatment under a doctor’s supervision and be very mindful that “less is more” when it comes to red light therapy for eyes.


RLT Glasses with the BIOMAX Series

The BIOMAX series light therapy devices include light-blocking goggles. These fit virtually everyone, and completely block the light. This makes the light therapy sessions even more relaxing; and if you like to take red light therapy closer to bedtime, you won’t have to worry about the bright light keeping you awake.

While red light therapy can be very beneficial for the eyes, it must be done in very short sessions to prevent eye strain. So when you’re doing a longer wellness session, slip on the light-blocking goggles, relax, and enjoy!

Learn about the various BIOMAX red light therapy devices, and how red light therapy can treat a broad spectrum of health conditions from head to toe.



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