What is Light Therapy (Phototherapy)?

Category: Procedures

Most popular types: Blue light therapy Dawn Simulation Anodyne therapy

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See also: Light Box

Light therapy or phototherapy consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light using lasers, light-emitting diodes, fluorescent lamps, dichroic lamps or very bright, full-spectrum light, for a prescribed amount of time and, in some cases, at a specific time of day.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Seasonal Affective Disorder 41 30
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) 34 19
Major Depressive Disorder 24 21
Psoriasis 8 6
Psoriatic plaques (scaly patches) 6 8
Fatigue 5 9

Show all 38 reasons taken


  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 5
Moderate 9
Mild 13
None 67

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Light Therapy (Phototherapy)

Side effect Patients
Headaches 3
Burning sensation 2
Eye pain 2
Itching 2
Mania 2
Agitation 1

Show all 15 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently having Light Therapy (Phototherapy)

Dosage Patients
daily 7
3 times a week 2
as needed 2
60 min every other week 1
30 min daily 1
1other as needed 1
three times daily 1
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 31
Usually 42
Sometimes 17
Never taken as prescribed 4
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 9
Somewhat hard to take 22
A little hard to take 30
Not at all hard to take 33
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 8
$100-199 5
$50-99 0
$25-49 2
< $25 30
Not specified 49
Last updated:

9 patient evaluations for Light Therapy (Phototherapy)

67 members have decided to share their profiles only with other members of PatientsLikeMe.

rainydaygirl
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rainydaygirl
Gender: F
Data Quality: 3 stars
Pain: Some
Fatigue: All
Sleep: All
Stiffness: Most
function: None
external_stress: Some
Stickman: all
Description:F73y
FM:27y Dx
CFS:8y Dx
I am: n
I have:
Fibromyalgia

See rainydaygirl's full Light Therapy (Phototherapy) history

Apr 24, 2016 (Started Jul 01, 2014)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for Seasonal Affective Disorder)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Usually
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 3 times a week
Advice & Tips: I have had Seasonally Affected Depression since I was a kid when my grades always dropped in the January-March grading period.  Now living in the NW where winter nights are long and days are often dark, my full-spectrum light has really helped especially when adding 400 units of daily liquid Vitamin D each day in the winter.  Caution:  the cheap lights don't work as well. 
Cost: $100-199 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks
Wicked13
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Wicked13
Data Quality: 1 star
Age: 35y
Gender: F
Condition: Psoriasis
I am: n
BSA% 25
DLQI score: 8
I have:
Psoriasis

See Wicked13's full Light Therapy (Phototherapy) history

Mar 4, 2013 (Started Feb 01, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Psoriasis)
  • Side effects
    Mild (Dry skin, Itching, Pustules, Hyperpigmentation (skin darkening))
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Cost: $200+ monthly

Mar 2, 2013 (Started Feb 01, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Psoriasis)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: M,W,F
Cost: $200+ monthly

Jul 17, 2012 (Started Feb 01, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Psoriasis)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (Dry skin, Itching, Pustules, Hyperpigmentation (skin darkening))
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: M,W,F
Cost: $200+ monthly

Jul 11, 2012 (Started Feb 01, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for Psoriasis)
  • Side effects
    Mild (Dry skin, Itching, Pustules, Hyperpigmentation (skin darkening))
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: M,W,F
Advice & Tips: I was having 4 treatments per week and things were going well. Within a month of dropping to twice weekly, I was almost as bad as when I started. Went back up to 4x/week, and showing positive results again.
Cost: $200+ monthly

May 25, 2012 (Started Feb 01, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Psoriasis)
  • Side effects
    Mild (Dry skin, Itching, Pustules, Hyperpigmentation (skin darkening))
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: M,W,F
Advice & Tips: Elevated mood
Cost: $200+ monthly

Feb 12, 2012 (Started Feb 01, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Moderate (for Psoriasis)
  • Side effects
    Severe (Dry skin, Itching, Pustules, Hyperpigmentation (skin darkening))
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: M,W,F
Advice & Tips: Treatment is somewhat of a burden because I live 40 minutes away from where I have to go 4 mornings a week, and the treatment currently only lasts 20 seconds.
Cost: $200+ monthly

  • 0 helpful marks
TheTrishgu
Portrait default thumb
TheTrishgu
Gender: F
Data Quality: 1 star
Depression: 2
Mania: 0
Emotional: 1
Anxiety: 2
Compulsion: 2
External Stress: Severe
35 F
Function: Moderate
Distress: Moderate
I am: b
I have:
Bipolar Disorder

See TheTrishgu's full Light Therapy (Phototherapy) history

Oct 29, 2012 (Started Oct 13, 2012)

  • Effectiveness
    Can’t tell (for Bipolar Disorder)
  • Effectiveness
    Can’t tell (for Seasonal affective disorder (SAD))
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Sometimes
  • Burden
    Very hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Cost: < $25 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 9 patient evaluations for Light Therapy (Phototherapy)