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Light boxes for seasonal affective disorder - choosing a light box

By Edited Sep 23, 2015 0 0

Seasonal affective disorder or SAD usually hits people as the days get shorter over fall and winter. Seasonal affective disorder is associated with the lack of sufficient bright light during these seasons, and can manifest itself through depression, weight gain, insomnia and other symptoms. Seasonal affective disorder treatment is often done through light therapy, where the sufferer is exposed to artificial bright light for a period of time each day. You can buy a light box to effectively treat seasonal affective disorder through light therapy. Sometimes, light box therapy may be effective on its own, but other times, light box treatment may be accompanied by the taking of antidepressants or psychotherapy. Regardless, buying a light box is a great idea for people seeking seasonal affective disorder treatment.

What is a light box?

A light box is a device that mimics natural outdoors light. It is thought that the light induces chemical changes in the brain, helping to alleviate depression and other seasonal affective disorder treatments. A light box can also help to set the body's circadian rhythms so that the sleep cycle is put on track, which helps with mood. Typically, light boxes are used for a half hour or more in morning, and the light shines indirectly on the eyes.

Choosing a light box

Light boxes for seasonal affective disorder come in different specifications and sizes, and it is important to shop around and find one that is best suited for your requirements. A light box can be bought over the counter, without requiring a prescription. They are widely available at drugstores, over the internet, and even at hardware stores. Amazon.com is one online retailer that offers a good selection of light boxes. While you can buy a light box without needing a prescription, it is a good idea to check in with your doctor, as he or she may prescribe a particular type of light box. Also, in order to have a light box covered by your insurance, you may need to get a prescription from your doctor.

Light boxes produce light of different types and intensities. They are also available in a variety of shapes and sizes and offer a variety of features. Although they should generally be both safe and effective, as of the time of writing this, they have not been approved by the FDA. There is also not a lot of research on light boxes for seasonal affective disorder treatment, so it can be difficult to choose a light box that would best fit your requirements. That said, there are some criteria you can use as the basis for choosing a light box.

First of all, consider whether the light box you are considering was specifically designed for seasonal affective disorder treatment. Some light boxes are meant to treat skin problems, and these light boxes give off ultraviolet light, which could be hazardous to your eyes. In this case, you may want to think twice about using such a light box to treat seasonal affective disorder, for which you need the light to shine indirectly on your eyes. Make sure that the light box you buy emits very little UV radiation when you use it at high intensity, as you would want to for seasonal affective disorder treatment.

You also want to consider the brightness of the light box. Light boxes that emit brighter light can be used for less time than those with dimmer bulbs to get the same treatment effect. Furthemore, you might be better off buying a light box that uses LED lighting, as opposed to the older light boxes that used incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. LEDs produce a more targeted wavelength of light and can be more effective than traditional light bulbs, while weighing less. Also consider whether the light box gives off white light or blue light. Blue light may be more effective than white light at reducing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, although this is not proven yet. However, blue light may present a higher risk of eye damage. In general, do not look directly at the light in any light box to minimize risk of eye damage.

Also, choose a size shape and style that suits the space in which you will use the light box. Light boxes also come in a range of prices, from about a hundred to as much as five hundred dollars. The higher end light boxes come with all kinds of bells and whistles such as programmable timers, brightness adjustments, extended battery life, etc. For instance, some light boxes will turn on in the morning and will get brighter gradually, simulating daybreak. This can help you with regulating your sleep cycle better, but such features come at a price. At the low end, a light box may just come with an on-off switch. See if you really want to pay more for the other features. Also, whether or not your health insurance will cover any part of your light box purchase could determine how much you want to pay.

Lastly, check with your health care provider before you buy a light box. He or she can advise you on whether you need a light box in the first place, and if you do, they can help you in choosing a light box that is right for you.

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