Frequently Asked Questions


What is SAD seasonal affective disorder?

Certain medications can cause photosensitivity


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and how does light therapy work?

Dark cold mornings make it hard to get up and out of bed for many people but for some people an imbalance is created as the sunshine disappears in winter which is termed Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Up to 17% of us suffer from the winter blues, feeling tired and lacking in energy. However for the 7% of the population who have SAD these symptoms mean that they dramatically stuggle to function.

Often termed 'Winter Blues' those who have extreme symptoms suffer from sleep problems, withdrawl, overeating, depression, anxiety and lethargy.

SAD is cause by low light levels during the winter and because when light enters our eyes it stimulates our brain to control daily biological rhythms through hormone production and so for some people lack of sufficient light stimulation means that important hormones are not being properly regulated leading to the common symptoms above.

The treatment of SAD provides the correct wavelengths of light for about 30 minutes a day. The light must be at least 2,000 lux (the technical measurement of brightness) which is roughly four times brighter than a well lit office.

The BIOPTRON Light Therapy systems are designed to deliver 10,000 lux which allows short treatment times and can be used when you are working or even relaxing watching television.

Many people ask if they can wear glasses or contact lenses and the answer is 'Yes if they are clear'. Sunglasses or photo-sensitive or tinted lenses WILL reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. This is because less light will reach important receptors at the back of the eye. Also FALLING ASLEEP during a light therapy session decreases the benefit from light therapy.

Certain medications can cause photosensitivity

Some medication, such as isotretinoin and topical retinoids, can cause the skin to react with light so if you are taking medication that may have this type of side effect (erferred to as photosensitivity) please consultant your doctor before using BIOPTRON Light Therapy.

Phototherapy combined with other Acne treatments

Phototherapy can be stand alone skin care treatment however people taking medication such as roaccutane should consult their GP or dermatologist.

Light therapy is clinically proven to be an effective treatment for MODERATE acne where the blue wavelengths kill the bacteria which cause acne and the red wavelengths reduces inflammation and heals the skin.

Dr Tony Chu, a consultant dermatologist at Hammersmith Hospital here in the UK and founder of the Acne Support Group, found that patients with moderate acne reported a 76% improbvement in inflammation after 12 weeks of blue and red light therapy with a 58% improvement in number of spots.

Dr Chu is concerned about the increasing use of antibiotics and steroids for treating acne and sees light therapy as a safe and effective alternative.



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