Repeated low-level red-light therapy helps prevent myopia progression in children
Treatment with repeated low-level red-light (RLRL) therapy with 100-percent power results in significant reduction in myopia progression over 6 months in myopic children when compared to a sham device with 10-percent original power, a China study has shown. In addition, the RLRL therapy is well tolerated and does not lead to serious adverse effects (AEs)
One hundred eleven Chinese children (aged 7‒12 years) with myopia of at least ‒0.50 dioptre (D), astigmatism of ≤1.50 D, and anisometropia of ≤1.50 were randomized to either RLRL therapy (RLRL group; n=56) or sham device (control group; n=55), following a schedule of 3 min per session twice daily, with an interval between sessions of at least 4 hours.
Children in the RLRL group were given a desktop red-light therapy device at home, while those in the control group received the same device but with only 10 percent of the original device’s power. The researchers measured cycloplegic refraction and axial length (AL) at baseline and 6 months.
The mean change in cycloplegic spherical equivalence refraction (SER) and over 6 months was 0.06 and ‒0.11 D in the RLRL and control groups (p=0.003), respectively, with corresponding mean increases in AL of 0.02 and 0.13 mm (p<0.001).
In the multivariate generalized estimating equation models, the RLRL group demonstrated reduced myopia progression and axial elongation compared to those in the sham group (SER: coefficient, 0.167 D, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.050‒0.283; p=0.005; AL: coefficient, ‒0.101 mm, 95 percent CI, ‒0.139 to ‒0.062; p<0.001).
No treatment-related AEs were documented.