Photobiomodulation Therapy Improves Vision, Anatomical Outcomes in Dry AMD

Photobiomodulation therapy may improve vision in patients with AMD while demonstrating a tolerable safety profile.

Multiwavelength photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy may improve vision and anatomical outcomes in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to research presented at the American Society of Retina Specialists 41st annual scientific meeting, held in Seattle, July 28 to August 1, 2023. This treatment demonstrates a favorable safety profile, according to the report. 

“There are currently no approved treatments for dry AMD beside[s] vitamin supplements,” the report explains. “The global prevalence of AMD is expected to reach 288 million by 2040, highlighting the critical need for treatment in this patient population.”

Lead study author Todd Schneiderman, MD, FASRS, and colleagues presented data from the LIGHTSITE III study ( Identifier: NCT04065490) — a prospective, double-masked, randomized, sham-controlled, parallel group, multicenter study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of photobiomodulation therapy in patients with dry AMD. The treatment consists of low-level light exposure to select tissues, which results in improved mitochondrial output and cellular activity. 

Participants underwent treatment with 6 series of multiwavelength photobiomodulation therapy (590, 660 and 850 nm) or sham treatment (3x per week/3-5 weeks) delivered every 4 months for 24 months while investigators assessed clinical and safety outcomes.

PBM therapy may offer a new treatment strategy with a unique mechanism and modality for patients with dry AMD.

The analysis included a total of 148 eyes from 100 participants with dry AMD (mean time since diagnosis, 4.9 years; mean age, 75.4 years; 68 women).  

At 13 months, LIGHTSITE III met the predetermined primary efficacy best-corrected visual acuity endpoint. Individuals who underwent photobiomodulation therapy experienced a 15 letter gain or better and achieved a more significant vision improvement compared with participants treated with sham therapy (P =.02), the report shows. The treatment demonstrated a favorable safety profile and showed a positive benefit-risk profile with high participant compliance. 

“LIGHTSITE III provides prospective randomized controlled trial data in dry AMD showing improved clinical and anatomical outcomes following PBM treatment,” according to the study authors. “PBM therapy may offer a new treatment strategy with a unique mechanism and modality for patients with dry AMD.”


Schneiderman T, Gonzalez V, Boyer D, et al.  LIGHTSITE III 24-month analysis: evaluation of multiwavelength photobiomodulation in dry age-related macular degeneration using the valeda light delivery system. American Society of Retinal Specialists (ASRS) 41st Annual Meeting; July 28-August 1, 2023; Seattle.