SAD Light Therapy – A Really Useful Method To Treat Seasonal Affected Disorder Using Sunlight

Posted on January 30, 2011
Filed Under Time Management | Leave a Comment

In ancient times, light or particularly sunlight combined with medicinal herbs was used to cure various skin diseases. This practice was common in countries like India and China. As time passed by, humans realized the uncountable advantages of sun light and thus, light therapy or photo-therapy was developed.

Light therapy primarily consists of exposure to sun light or to a specific wavelength of light using various light emitting devices such as lasers, light emitting diodes (LED) or full spectrum light. The time duration for which the light is emitted is normally controlled and is for a particular duration of time.

These days, photo-therapy is usually used to cure various skin diseases such as acne, tanning and pigmentation. Photo-therapy also finds tremendous use in treating mood swings and Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). SAD is a mood problem wherein people who are healthy throughout the year, feel depressed during the winters due to lack of sun light year after year. It is commonly known as winter blues or winter depression and is common in Nordic countries.

This happens since people don’t get Vitamin D due to lack of sun light. The most efficient way to treat SAD is by the use of SAD light therapy. Light therapy inhibits the production of melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone and supports the production of serotonin which results in a happy mood. Light therapy uses a light box which produces 10,000 lux of light i.e much more than that produced by an ordinary house bulb or a lamp.

UV rays cause substantial damage to human skin besides depletion of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in our body. UV rays also cause free radical generation which leads to premature aging and cause irritation in the eyes and damage the retina. Due to this fact UV rays are filtered out. Green and white light are the most effective light therapy for SAD. There is a huge variety of SAD light products to choose from ranging from very large to very small ones based on the requirement.

Another minor solution is to have Vitamin D supplements but this hasn’t proven to be a very successful solution. Although light therapy has many advantages, there’re also several negative effects related to light therapy. It causes jumpiness,headache and nausea. In some cases it might also cause skin rashes and eye irritation.

Therefore, proper care needs to be taken while performing light therapy. Till date, light therapy is the most effective treatment for treating SAD and has a very bright future in the coming years. It will only get better and far more effective with time.

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