What is light therapy?

Light Therapy
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Light therapy

Light therapy is the use of a high-intensity fluorescent lamp (usually 10,000 lux) to treat a certain type of depression that occurs during the fall and winter months (seasonal affective disorder).

Lamps used for light therapy are brighter than ordinary indoor lighting. A person sits in front of the light for about 30 minutes a day. A person can usually read, use a computer, or do other types of desk work while sitting in front of the light.

Is light therapy effective?

Light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder and other conditions. Many people feel better within 3 to 5 days. If you don't improve within the first week, you may improve in the second week.

What is light therapy?

Light therapy is the main treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It's used for other conditions too. It is exposure to light that is brighter than indoor light but not as bright as direct sunlight.

What is light therapy used for?

Light therapy is often used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It may help with depression, jet lag, and sleep disorders. It replaces the lost exposure to sunlight and may help reset the body's "biological clock" (circadian rhythms), which controls sleeping and waking.

How is light therapy done?

You place the light therapy box on a desk or table and sit in front of it at the specified distance. You can do this while you read, eat, or work at a computer. The light should reach your eyes, but don't stare at it. Therapy usually lasts about 30 minutes a day.

What are the side effects of light therapy?

The most common side effects of light therapy include eyestrain, headaches, agitation, fatigue, and nausea. You may be tired during the first week because of changes in your sleep-wake patterns.

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