Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(1):109-119. doi:10.7150/ijms.52980 This issue


Near Infrared (NIR) Light Therapy of Eye Diseases: A Review

Qin Zhu1*, Shuyuan Xiao1*, Zhijuan Hua1*, Dongmei Yang2, Min Hu2, Ying-Ting Zhu3✉, Hua Zhong1✉

1. Department of Ophthalmology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming 650031, China
2. Department of Ophthalmology, the Second People's Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunming 650021, China
3. Tissue Tech Inc, Miami, Florida 33126, USA
*The first three authors contribute equally to this manuscript.

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Zhu Q, Xiao S, Hua Z, Yang D, Hu M, Zhu YT, Zhong H. Near Infrared (NIR) Light Therapy of Eye Diseases: A Review. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(1):109-119. doi:10.7150/ijms.52980. Available from

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Near infrared (NIR) light therapy, or photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), has gained persistent worldwide attention in recent years as a new novel scientific approach for therapeutic applications in ophthalmology. This ongoing therapeutic adoption of NIR therapy is largely propelled by significant advances in the fields of photobiology and bioenergetics, such as the discovery of photoneuromodulation by cytochrome c oxidase and the elucidation of therapeutic biochemical processes. Upon transcranial delivery, NIR light has been shown to significantly increase cytochrome oxidase and superoxide dismutase activities which suggests its role in inducing metabolic and antioxidant beneficial effects. Furthermore, NIR light may also boost cerebral blood flow and cognitive functions in humans without adverse effects. In this review, we highlight the value of NIR therapy as a novel paradigm for treatment of visual and neurological conditions, and provide scientific evidence to support the use of NIR therapy with emphasis on molecular and cellular mechanisms in eye diseases.

Keywords: near infrared light, photobiomodulation therapy, mechanism, eye disease