• Will the light therapy for SAD affect my glaucoma?


    Question:

    I have pigmentary dispersion glaucoma (when pigment, which gives the iris its color, circulates in other parts of eye) which is being effectively treated. I recently began using light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD), which has been working well, and was alarmed to read that it wasn't recommended for people with eye disease. Is it okay to use this therapy with glaucoma?


    Answer:

    In a study done over 20 years ago, light therapy for SAD was shown to be safe and effective. Fifty patients with SAD were studied and in 75 percent of patients it was effective. Their eyes and vision were carefully studied and no damage occurred to any patients.

    However, if you use a tanning salon, be sure to wear protective goggles at all times—tanning salon lights cause UV keratitis, or sunburn of the eyes, which is as painful and miserable as it sounds.

    It's good also that you are aware that you have glaucoma and are getting it treated. Untreated glaucoma has no symptoms, until it causes irreversible and untreatable blindness. Make sure you follow up with your ophthalmologist to have your pigmentary glaucoma treated to prevent visual loss from glaucoma.


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