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Does using a lightbox increase the risk of eye damage?

Seasonal affective disorder is sometimes treated by the use of photic or light therapy delivered from various types of light sources or lightboxes.  No one knows how this works but some studies have shown this treatment to be effective.  There are no reports of any eye damage from the use of lightboxes.

However, we do know that exposure to ultraviolet light as well as the shorter wavelength blue light can contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration.  A reasonable precaution would be to get evaluated by an opthalmologist to make sure you do not have any of these conditions before beginning therapy.  Getting a high quality lightbox that does not emit any ultraviolet radiation would also be prudent.

While there are no guarantees, it does appear that if you take these precautions you could proceed with this therapy, particularly if you find it helps your symptoms.

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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.