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Etymology: AS, leoht + Gk, therapeia, treatment
the use of natural light or light of specified wavelengths to treat disease. This may include ultraviolet light, colored light, or low-intensity laser light. The eye is generally the initial entry point for the light because of its direct connection to the brain through the retinal hypothalamic pathway, which affects the autonomic nervous system and endocrine function. Light therapy has been used primarily for attention deficit disorders, cataracts, conjunctivitis, headaches, head trauma, hyperactivity, lazy eye, macular degeneration, migraine, night blindness, poor eyesight, stroke, and vision disorders. It has also been effective in treating eczema, fever, psoriasis, addictions, allergies, anxiety, autism, bronchitis, childbirth, glaucoma, insomnia, muscle spasm, premenstrual syndrome, stress, and strep throat. Light therapy complements many other treatments for these and other conditions.
Formats Full spectrum light—e.g., sunlight, bright light—2 to 10,000 lux, UV light, coloured light, haemoirradiation
Fringe medicine No peer-reviewed data support claims that light therapy is effective in treating AIDS, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, arthalgia, asthma, bulimia, cancer, depression, drug abuse, dysmenorrhea, fatigue, hair loss, headaches, high cholesterol, hostility, immune dysfunction, infections, insomnia, strokes, tooth decay, or other conditions
Mainstream medicine Intense light therapy may be effective for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and shiftwork-related sleep disorders
1. The use of certain segments–in particular, the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum as a therapeutic modality; LT may to act via the hypothalamus, which releases neurotransmitters and releasing factors, after receiving impulses from retina Formats Full spectrum light–eg, sunlight, bright light–2 to 10,000 lux, UV light, colored light, hemoirradiation Mainstream medicine LT may be effective in seasonal affective disorder–SAD, and shiftwork-related sleep disorders. See Bright light therapy.
2. Bright light therapy, see there.
3. Heliotherapy, see there.
light ther·a·py(līt thār'ă-pē)
The therapeutic use of ultraviolet, colored, and laser lights to reestablish diurnal rhythms and alleviate pain and depression.