Innovation is at the heart of the healthcare sector as technology brings new tools and approaches to the table. For this reason, practitioners and healthcare providers are always looking into methods that revolutionize the way they detect and treat certain diseases.
One of these innovations is light therapy. Although controversial, this approach has been the subject of numerous studies that vouch for its effectiveness across different fields. Also known as phototherapy, this method has encouraged further research into the usefulness of artificial light in the medical sector. So far, experts have identified a number of ways in which light therapy could be applied:
- Treating seasonal affective disorder
In countries where there are extensive periods of no sunlight, seasonal affective disorder or SAD is mostly common. Weather changes and changes in the light-dark cycle are also important factors that contribute to SAD. While antidepressants are usually administered to people experiencing this mood disorder, light therapy can also provide an alternative approach.
According to an article by the Harvard Medical School, patients with SAD can be exposed to artificial light for a certain amount of time depending on how drastic the weather changes in their location. Although there has yet to be a significant link between light exposure and winter depression, light therapy can still help with optimizing the effects of medication and reduce a patient’s reliance on antidepressants.