Monday, December 16, 2013

Light Can Help Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the weather grows colder and the day gets shorter, there’s much less sunlight to enjoy. If you live in or near a big city, on a clear day you can expect nine hours of sunlight, compared to 14 hours during the summer months. Although most consider the after-work darkness to be hindrance, for some it is more than just an inconvenience—it can lead to a major health issue known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of yearly depression whose cause can be rooted in a drop in serotonin levels brought on by reduced sunlight, according to Mayo Clinic. Other than antidepressants and talk-therapy, one of the best treatments for this disorder involves using light as a form of therapy. There are two main types of light therapy, which is more commonly known as phototherapy: bright light therapy and dawn simulation.

Bright Light Therapy
This treatment method involves exposing sufferers to intense light, usually from a box that consists of a set of fluorescent, incandescent or LED, full-spectrum light bulbs and a screen. This treatment, which is taken while accomplishing everyday tasks, can last from a few minutes to up to three hours per day.

Dawn Simulation
This therapy also uses the light bulb and box set up. It differs from the bright light format in that it is based on giving the patient gently increasing levels of simulated sunlight, which is much like a normal sunrise.

The true key to the success of both bright light therapy and dawn simulation is in choosing the right light bulb. For either therapy to be effective, you must pick the light bulb that will mimic the power and level of outdoor daylight your treatment demands.

We take this disorder very seriously and understand the complications that can arise if left untreated, and we’re proud to help combat the symptoms. If you are shopping for the right light therapy box, visit the Mayo Clinic website for some great tips on choosing the light box to match your needs, then call Bulb Direct to supply the bulbs.  

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