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Light Therapy

Light therapy is the use of a high-intensity fluorescent lamp (usually 10,000 lux) to treat certain types of depression that occur during the fall and winter months (seasonal affective disorder). These lamps are usually available in health food or lighting fixture stores.

Lamps used for light therapy are about 10 to 20 times as bright as ordinary indoor lighting. A person sits in front of the light for at least 30 minutes a day. Some people sit in the light for as long as 2 hours. A person can usually read, use a computer, or do other types of desk work while sitting in front of the light.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Alfred Lewy, MD, PhD - Psychiatry
Last Revised June 20, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.