What is the role of bright-light therapy (BLT) in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Bright-light therapy (BLT) for seasonal affective disorder is used at an intensity of 10,000 lux for 30-90 minutes daily, usually within 1 hour of arising in the morning. Like any effective antidepressant, BLT has the potential to precipitate a hypomanic or manic episode in susceptible individuals. Other common adverse effects include eye irritation, restlessness, and transient headaches. These lamps are not a significant source of ultraviolet (UV) light. Conventional antidepressants, with or without BLT, also can be used to treat seasonal affective disorder.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!