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Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment through light therapy - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 13-Jan-2012
User rating for this question
Average Posted in: Depression
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
Doctor :   hello
Doctor :  
how can i help u?
User :   what is the psychological issues of staying in a dark nusing home?
Doctor :  
Doctor :   it may lead to depression
User :   if the patient is an elder, can it be more than just a depression?
Doctor :  
there are no symptoms and signs which are specific which we can relate to staying alone in a dark nursing home
Doctor :  
depression also is seen in very few patients
User :   SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is common among elders in senior housing center?
Doctor :  
Doctor :  
it is nothing but depression
User :   no difference between SAD and depression indeed
Doctor :  
it is very rare and some think that this is due to lack of light
User :   Have you worked with seniors?
Doctor :  
in this patients have mood changes
Doctor :   like feelin too much sleepy
User :   I heard seniors get cranky, low in energy...etc if they dont get a daylight
Doctor :  
having little energy amd feeling depressed
Doctor :  
some considering exposing to light for30 minutes every day will help them to overcome this
Doctor :  
User :   are you familiar with light therapy?
User :   do you think its a solution for these issues?
Doctor :   its just under experimental stage
Doctor :  
u know this sad occurs even in summer times
Doctor :  
normally we dont come across such patients as we stay in india we dont have any light issues
Doctor :   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.

Doctor :   it is commonly done for sad and also cicadian rhythm disorders
Doctor :  
Bright light to the eyes treats seasonal affective disorder, with some support for its use also with non-seasonal psychiatric disorders.
Doctor :   are u there?
User :   i see
User :   I am aware SAD is not common in India
Doctor :  
During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The light therapy box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light.
User :   it transfers to skin or eye?
Doctor :   Exposure to bright light from a light therapy box is thought to alter your circadian rhythms and suppress your body's natural release of melatonin. Together, these cause biochemical changes in your brain that help reduce or control symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and other conditions. Light therapy is also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy.
User :   what is the challenge of treating seniors with depressions?
User :   or SAD disease?
Doctor :   if it just depression we have many antidepressent mediactions
Doctor :  
if it is due to SAD it depends upon physicain to go for liht therapy or lese antidepressents
Doctor :  
cos light therapy is still not approved treatment for SAD
User :   why is that?
Doctor :  
Doctor :   cos results are varied
User :   you meant light therapy doesnt work for everybody
Doctor :  
if 100 people are given light therapy and if it cures only 20 to 30 percent of SAD then the results are uncertain
Doctor :  
so it is still not approved
Doctor :  
Light therapy hasn't officially been approved as a seasonal affective disorder treatment by the Food and Drug Administration because of mixed evidence about its effectiveness. But for some people, light therapy treatment can improve the depressed mood of seasonal affective disorder and perhaps other types of depression, too.
User :   I want to create a product for seniors with this problem, do you recommend any features to improve our current light therapy?
User :   potentially place it in the senior facility center in u.s.
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :  
i will try to help u upto my knowledge
Doctor :  
White light is the standard type of light used in light therapy boxes. But some newer light therapy boxes give off narrow-spectrum blue light. This blue light has a shorter wavelength, which some research shows is more effective at reducing seasonal affective disorder symptoms. On the other hand, blue light poses a greater risk than does white light of damaging your eye's retina because your retina is more sensitive to the shorter blue wavelengths. To help reduce this risk, don't look directly at the light source in any light therapy box.
Doctor :   LEDs can produce light in a narrower, more targeted wavelength. LEDs are also more efficient and lighter weight than standard lights.
User : medical point of view
User :   i can find this over internet as well
User :   since you are an expertise
Doctor :   nothing much
Doctor :   i have told u everthing o know
Doctor :  
Doctor :  
regarding SAD
User :   i know thanks
Doctor :   welcome
User :   do you refer me anyone who could help me futhre on this part?
Doctor :   a psychiatrist may help u
User :   is this site has one?
Doctor :  
but not very often we see such cases in india
User :   hm.
Doctor :  
User :   all the doctors here in site are indians?
Doctor :  
User :   for the last question, what is your speciality?
Doctor :   general medicine
User :   thanks
User :   have a nice day
Doctor :   welcome
Doctor :  
u too have a great day
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