Bright light therapy has effectively claimed its place to cure various depression and mental disorders. It has helped a lot of people to have peaceful sleep at night. But as its use increases, the appearance of some side effects have also been noticed. However, the side effects are easily manageable. In the following article, we are going to briefly discuss the side effects. And the methods to reduce the impacts will be discussed accordingly.
Types of UV Rays
It’s evident that a specific amount and type of UV light are beneficial for health. But there are certain risks to it too.
The sun emits three types of UV rays, UVA, UVB & UVC. Each of the types has its benefits and drawbacks.
- UVA is the most prominent wavelength in the sun. It’s safe in small doses, and most permissible for therapy.
- UVB consists of the middle wavelength. Only 10% of it reaches the earth’s surface from the sun. A body’s vitamin D creation mainly depends upon this ray.
- UVC has the shortest wavelength and almost all of it is absorbed by the ozone layer. It’s only safe for disinfecting inorganic objects.
During therapy, only UVA & UVB are used in a controlled environment. Excessive exposure to these rays can initiate cancer and other hazardous skin conditions. The UV lamps are available worldwide. But before using one, consulting a specialist is a must.
Commonly Known Side Effects
Using light therapy has great effects in enhancing focus, mood & energy. But it can often make you feel edgy, like after having a lot of caffeine in your system. And it may also trigger some other conditions mentioned below.
Photophobia, the fear of light.
If you have this condition, you may find light irritating. You tend to look away from light. Therefore, sensitivity to lights is created which shortens the therapy period.
Chronic headache can be caused by the use of lightboxes. The bright light has the potential to increase the discomfort. And the pain can intensify for migraine patients. Some headaches may fade within a short period, while some can exist for a longer time.
Surprisingly, lightboxes can cause fatigue in your body. It can occur when your biological clock is shifted inappropriately. Due to this condition, you may feel sleepy during the daytime and have difficulty walking. It may also induce insomnia.
Some users of lightboxes expressed that it increased irritability for them. They tend to have less patience and snap easily. It affected their professional and social life greatly.
The lightboxes may trigger an episode of a maniac period called hypomania. People with bipolar disorders face this problem most commonly. This may be tolerable but can also lead to a rapid change of behavior. It triggers a sudden elevation of mood and energy followed by a sudden period of fatigue and depression.
Finally, if the lightbox is used at the wrong time, one may face sleep deprivation. It shifts the biological clock improperly and triggers this condition. That’s why It’s important to avoid screen light before bedtime
Reducing the Side Effects
Some very simple steps can help you avoid the outrageous side effects.
- Increase the distance of the lightboxes from you.
- Take short breaks during your session.
- You can also consider taking a shorter period of therapy.
- Some lightboxes allow you to reduce the intensity. With shorter exposure to reduced intensity may help you avoid complications.
- If you have sensitive skin, face light-induced migraine, or a tendency of getting mania; consider avoiding light therapy altogether.
Baby Steps Towards Healing
The high powered laser is often used to cut or destroy cancerous tissue. But in minimal dosage, light can work as a great healer. The evolution of technology has made it more affordable and available for therapeutic use. Hundreds of clinical trials and thousands of research papers acknowledge the effectiveness of light therapy in relieving pain and stimulating healing. However, precise dosing for a broad range of clinical applications is still in trial. It has the potential in supporting cancer care, relieving muscle pain, reducing inflammation, promoting wound healing, and promoting tissue regeneration. It has existed for decades but it still needs perfecting for regular use. It’s not foolish to hope that in the near future, the technology will be perfected more and light therapy will be used for a wide range of issues.
The therapeutic use of UV light has been a hugely controversial subject. Due to larger use in tanning salons and the occurrences of skin cancer, it has received bad press. But using light therapy can do wonders for you. While we need to be careful about its use, it is very useful for our body and health.