Phototherapy, also known as light therapy, is a treatment in which the individual is exposed to UV light to help alleviate conditions that can arise from a lack of sunlight. One of the greatest benefits of this treatment is that it allows for natural light to be used to relieve medical ailments; thereby providing the patient with an alternative to medications and other more invasive treatment options.
When a patient is receiving phototherapy, they are exposed to different types of ultra violet light to help to relieve the symptoms of the condition they are being treated for. The exposure of the skin to the UV light should always be done under medical supervision and routine exposure to UV will ensure the patient has the best results. This light can be delivered using lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), fluorescent or dichroic lamps or full-spectrum light. Due to the nature of UV rays, the patient should only ever use the light for the time advised and under medical supervision.
There are a range of conditions that can be helped by using phototherapy, for a period of time and at specific times of the day. Conditions that can be prescribed the use of phototherapy include:
• Seasonal affective disorder
• Neo-natal jaundice
• Delayed sleep phase syndrome
• Certain forms of depression
These various conditions can be helped by the action of the UV on the skin, helping lift the mood of people suffering depression and restoring disrupted circadian rhythms that can cause chronic sleeplessness.
Phototherapy is a natural alternative to chemicals and medication. In the treatment of psoriasis it can provide relief from itchiness and help to improve the skin condition. For people who suffer seasonal affective disorder or different forms of depression, the exposure to light offers a much milder treatment alternative than the prescription of anti-depressant medication. There are other areas in which it is felt that phototherapy could be of benefit, however many of these are yet to be fully explored. Conditions which may benefit from phototherapy include Parkinson Disease and the healing of wounds. Improved mental health and mood can also be a catalyst to improving people’s social relationships and interaction.
Phototherapy or light therapy provides people with a way to improve their health and well being. It can be used in a range of conditions and can improve both physical and mental health. By using this natural treatment, the patient is able to get relief from a number of problems that may otherwise require them to take more potent chemical medications. The invasive side effects of some medications can be avoided by prescribing and supervising a patient through phototherapy treatments.