Depress

Light Therapy

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Light Therapy

  1. No severe Suicidal Ideation
  2. Medical reasons to avoid Antidepressants
  3. History of favorable response to prior Light Therapy
  4. No history of adverse reactions to Light Therapy
  • Equipment
  1. Light Therapy with Full Spectrum Light (10000 lux)
    1. White fluorescent light
    2. Should not include Ultraviolet wavelengths
  2. Cost: $200 to $500 (Insurance may cover)
  3. Supplier Examples
    1. Apollo Light Systems: 800-545-9667
    2. Hughes Lighting Technologies: 973-663-1214
    3. Northern Light Technologies: 800-263-0066
    4. SunBox Company: 800-548-3968
  • Technique
  1. Duration
    1. Start with 10-15 minute exposure per morning
    2. Increase exposure to 30 to 45 minutes per morning
    3. Maximum exposure: 10000 lux at 90 minutes per morning
  2. Technique
    1. Keep eyes open during the session
    2. Look periodically at light during each session
  3. Timing
    1. Light exposure in early morning
      1. Synchronizes with circadian rhythm
      2. Terman (2001) Arch Gen Psychiatry 58:69-75 [PubMed]
  4. Protocols frome studies
    1. Exposure to 2500 lux for 2 hours per day or
    2. Exposure to 10,000 lux for 30 minutes per day
  • Adverse Effects
  1. Photophobia
  2. Headache
  3. Fatigue
  4. Irritability
  5. Hypomania
  6. Insomnia (avoid therapy too late in day)
  • Precautions
  1. Obtain ophthalmology approval for those pre-existing Retinal Disease