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Light Therapy Alleviates More Than Depression

2013-06-04 15-1.14.04Light therapy is popular during the winter months as a method to fight off the depression known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) caused by shorter days and longer nights. However, the winter blues are not the only thing light can cure. Light therapy is an effective tool for treating learning disabilities, visual dysfunctions, poor concentration, and behavioral and mood disorders. Light can also relieve physical maladies such as headaches, migraines, eyestrain, mental stress, fatigue, inflammation and allergies.

Syntonic Phototherapy or Light Therapy has been practiced many years as an alternative to traditional eye care in treating conditions like eye turns, lazy eye, reduced peripheral vision and depth perception. These visual issues can mimic learning disorders in children, as well as cause many of the symptoms listed above.

Research has also proven that light applied to the eyes can be beneficial to the entire body. By applying certain frequencies of noninvasive light through the eyes, not only can vision problems be improved, but retinal nerves transmit that light through the blood to the body’s central nervous system and other brain centers. This light can then be used to restore electrical, chemical and hormonal imbalances in the body.

Some positive developments people have reported after light therapy:

  • Acne improved
  • Bedwetting stopped
  • More mature behavior displayed
  • Fidgety behavior reduced
  • Aggressive and argumentative behavior eased
  • Alleviated claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces)
  • Introverts became more sociable
  • Subject’s demeanor was more peaceful and contented

Suitable therapy can only be achieved following a proper diagnosis. Many vision conditions remain undiagnosed and untreated in childhood all the way through adulthood because of a lack of thorough vision testing. A behavioral optometrist can evaluate the visual system for detriments not found in a basic 20/20 exam. One in every 4 children has a vision issue that affects his learning. Undiagnosed, these issues can manifest from physical discomforts to full-blown behavioral and emotional problems that lead to improper diagnoses of ADHD and learning disorders. Light therapy is generally used in conjunction with vision therapy for these cases.

If you visit us, we would first evaluate you or your child’s visual skills with an in-depth examination. Even symptoms of migraines, stress and fatigue are often caused by vision problems. Following diagnosis, a program of light and/or vision therapy would be recommended and tailored to fit your specific needs. In-office therapy as well as activities that can be done at home would be prescribed.

Light therapy consists of wearing colored lenses daily for a period of time while staring at a lamp in a darkened room. However, it must be practiced in a controlled environment, as varying emotional feelings can develop in some people during treatment.

Depending on your diagnosis and symptoms, the doctor will decide which colored lenses will best benefit you. As light travels through the body, it targets the areas which need healing and restoration. The primary colors of red, yellow and blue can be used to stimulate or relax the nervous system, while secondary colors of green, orange and purple can work to provide physiological balance and pain relief. Best results are achieved through a combination of colors determined by a professional to be helpful to the individual based on energy levels, personality and visual diagnosis.

If you are interested in learning more about light therapy or think it might be beneficial for you or your child, please give us a call. We will set up an assessment to discuss your options and establish how light therapy can help you – not just in winter but year round!