Counter-arguments and side effects of light therapy

Light therapy falls into the category of mild and non-invasive medicines. It is therefore rarely argued against. However, some cases exist where it is preferable to not carry out a light therapy treatment without a medical opinion. Here they are:

Counter-arguments of light therapy

Retinal damage

  • Retinopathy
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma

However, it is necessary to keep in mind that the medical field lacks clinical data to establish definitively that this pertains to a real counter-argument and which rather requires caution regarding light therapy treatment. If you are concerned by one of the pathologies listed above, we recommend in any case to seek a medical opinion before thinking about light therapy.

Bi-polar depression

Scientific literature generally recommends that bipolar people avoid light therapy during their manic phase. Indeed, there is a risk of accentuating the symptoms.

On the other hand, light therapy may have a life-saving anti-depressive effect during the patient’s depressive phase. It is therefore recommended to carry out a light therapy session at midday rather than in the morning, to avoid falling into the manic phase.

In any case, it is advised to use a mood stabilizer to avoid swaying from one state to the other.

Side effects of light therapy

Devoid of infrareds and ultra-violets, light therapy has few side effects on those who practice it. However, certain unwanted effects may occur and an adjustment in treatment becomes necessary. In certain cases, stopping therapy may be preferable.

The most common side effects are:


Eye tiredness

Eye dryness


These effects are often lightly felt and occur primarily in the first few days of treatment. They are the result of the brain having to manage a large amount of light than usual and it needs time to adapt.

Here are some steps to take to avoid, reduce or alleviate these unwanted effects:

Always use the device in a well-lit room.

Reduce the light intensity or move away from the device if these reactions occur.

Do not use the device for a few days while the reactions disappear, then try again.

If despite these steps, the side effects are still felt, it is possible that light therapy is not for you and it is preferable to stop the therapy.


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