What is Light Therapy?

Light therapy or phototherapy consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light using lasers, light-emitting diodes, fluorescent lamps, dichroic lamps or very bright, full-spectrum light—by a so-called light box.

The light is administered for a prescribed amount of time and, in some cases, at a specific time of day.

Light therapy directed at the skin is used to treat acne vulgaris and neonatal jaundice.

Light therapy which strikes the retina of the eyes is used to treat circadian rhythm disorders such as delayed sleep phase syndrome and can also be used to treat seasonal affective disorder, with some support for its use also with non-seasonal psychiatric disorders.

Further Reading


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Last Updated: Sep 16, 2014

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