Light therapy or phototherapy is a technique used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that occurs during fall or winter season. Apart from SAD, the light therapy also works for jet lag, dementia sleep disorder and inappropriate cardiac rhythms. The person who suffers from SAD experiences sudden mood swing in the particular time of the year. Also known as winter blues, the depression can be reduced with the help of light therapy.
How Is Light Therapy Used To Treat Depression?
In the light therapy, the person who is suffering from SAD is exposed to an artificial source of light. The light source is brighter than the indoor light but is not as bright as sunlight. It actually compensates the lack of sunlight which is linked to the disorder. The light therapy box is used to emit light which affects the brain chemical serotonin. This is a ‘feel good’ brain chemical which helps in getting SAD treated. The therapy is done in sessions and the same depends on the severity of the problem. The more powerful the light will be, the shorter will be the session. However, it depends on the person as to the intensity of light he or she can handle.
A Word Of Caution:
Though light therapy is safe to perform, however, there are some short term side effects which it may pose like a headache, strain in eye, nausea or irritation. The response to light therapy can be noted within 4-5 days however, some may even take longer depending upon the sessions. Therefore, before opting for this therapy take a proper consultation with the doctor and go for the same only if they suggest. Consultation with the doctor is must as they are more aware of the medical possibility of your symptoms than you. Also, they can guide you on the number of sessions you must go through.