How effective is light therapy in treating seasonal affective disorder?

Bryce B. Wylde
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Seventy percent of patients with mild-to-moderate seasonal affective disorder (SAD) symptoms respond to light therapy from a light box at 2500 lux 2h/day or 10,000 lux one hour/day, within 1-2 weeks where about 50% achieve complete remission. "Lux" is a unit of illuminance or luminous emittance from a light source. The latest research suggests that the intensity of the light exposure is more important that the spectrum or wavelength. So, avoid getting lured in to buying one of the very expensive units which profess having a "special" wavelength that "mimics the sun".

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.