Light therapy

Light therapy or phototherapy consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths using very bright, full-spectrum light, for a prescribed amount of time and, in some cases, at a specific time of day. It has proven effective in treating Acne vulgaris, seasonal affective disorder, and is part of the standard treatment regimen for delayed sleep phase syndrome. It has recently been shown effective in non-seasonal depression.

3 to 4% of people in Sweden suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It causes problems with concentration and depression. People suffering from this disorder feel often tired even if they have no sleeping problems. It is also common that they feel sugar cravings and weight gain is often a problem. SAD has many different causes, one of them can be that the eyes get too little light during winter season. Light therapy is an accepted method for treating SAD. It is given in special rooms equipped with fluorescent tubes giving a broad spectrum light. The walls, floor and ceiling are white, so is the furniture and the patients´ clothes. Many notice a positive effect after 4 – 5 days of treatment (2 hours a day), but in some cases regular use for a longer period of time is required.