How to choose the right light therapy lamp

In winter, more and more Canadians add exposure to a light therapy lamp to their daily routine to counter the effects of decreased daylight hours. If you would like to make this purchase, here is some interesting information. 

Light therapy—have you thought about it?

If you are mildly affected by the winter blues or seasonal depression, a light therapy lamp could be beneficial to you. Light therapy or phototherapy, is a non-medicinal treatment known for its effectiveness in countering the effects of a lack of daylight hours, including seasonal depression.

To benefit from light therapy, you must be exposed daily to artificial light that replicates the effects of sunrays. Exposure to the light of a lamp specially designed for this purpose is generally recommended for 30 minutes according to the light intensity of that specific lamp. Results are generally felt within the first week, but four weeks of treatment are usually needed to obtain an optimal response.

It is recommended to begin the treatment in the fall when daylight hours decrease and to continue until spring. We encourage you to speak to a healthcare professional about the advantages of acquiring a light therapy lamp.

For additional information, read the following text: The benefits of light therapy.

Making the right choice

If you are considering to purchase a light therapy lamp, here is some advice:

  • Since the cost is quite high (often $200 or more), take the time to shop around and to inquire about the characteristics of the different models.
  • The intensity of the devices on the market vary from 2,500 to 10,000 lux. The higher the amount of lux, the shorter the duration of treatment (for instance, 30 minutes with a lamp with an intensity of 10,000 lux and 60 minutes if it has an intensity of 5,000 lux). Make the choice accordingly.
  • Choose a model that suits your lifestyle—floor stand, tabletop, desktop, portable, etc.
  • Ensure that the light field is wide enough, so you are not confined to a small space during exposure. This will allow you to go about your daily activities (reading, working, watching television, eating, etc.) while your face basks in the light.
  • Inquire if your medical insurance covers the costs related to the purchase of a light therapy lamp. In many cases, a doctor's prescription is needed.

You can purchase a light therapy lamp at the pharmacy. Ask your pharmacist to help you make the best choice, and take the opportunity to ask for advice on how to maintain your health in winter.

For additional information about the effects of a lack of daylight in winter, read the following text: Seasonal depression and winter blues

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How to choose the right light therapy lamp

In winter, more and more Canadians add exposure to a light therapy lamp to their daily routine to counter the effects of decreased daylight hours. If you would like to make this purchase, here is some interesting information. 
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