This FAQ is from BioBrite Inc
Q. How helpful is the Light Visor(tm)
for winter blues?
A. It is now generally accepted that light therapy is a
viable treatment for winter blues. Clinical trials demonstrate that the
response rates to Light Visor(tm)
light treatment are at least as good as those for other light devices.
Q. What advantages does the Light Visor(tm) offer?
A. The Light Visor(tm)
is a breakthrough in light use convenience and efficiency. It fits
comfortably on your head. Because it is powered by a rechargeable
battery pack, the user is free to move about. The Light Visor(tm)
delivers light from above the eyes, so it doesn't obscure vision or
interfere with normal activities. It is portable and convenient for
Q. How much light is optimal?
A. Because the Light Visor(tm) lamps are fixed close to
the eyes, it is more efficient than a light box. Many people have found
that 20 to 40 minutes of Light Visor(tm) use in the morning is ideal as
a seasonal light supplement. However, there is considerable individual
variation in effective light doses. The deluxe light intensity of the
Light Visor(tm) can be adjusted up to 2500 Lux to meet a wide range of
Q. Can Light Visor(tm) light be harmful to the eyes?
A. All of the clinical trials using the Light Visor(tm)
received Institutional Review Board approval for human subjects. Safety
is a major factor in receiving such approval. Furthermore, Bio-Brite
commissioned a "hazard analysis" conducted by independent experts. It
concluded that the energy emitted by the Light Visor(tm) is far below
the threshold limit values recommended in national standards for
photo-biological safety of lamps and lighting systems. To our knowledge,
Bio-Brite is the only is the only manufacturer of light therapy
equipment that has undertaken this type of analysis. Nevertheless,
anyone with a known or suspected eye disease should consult an
Q. What about full spectrum light?
A. Early researchers in light therapy thought it was
necessary to use "full spectrum" light (light that imitates the color
spectrum of natural sunlight, including UV). However, controlled
clinical trials using white light (like that of most light bulbs) have
shown that as long as the light is bright enough it can be effective.
Full spectrum lights may emit UV light may which can be damaging to the
eyes and skin. The Light Visor(tm) emits white light with no UV
Q. Are side effects a problem?
A. In clinical trials, the frequency of minor side
effects such as eye strain, fatigue, feeling "wire", headache and
insomnia were reported as extremely low, and are quickly alleviated by
reducing light intensity and/or time of use.
Q. Is the Light Visor(tm) covered by medical
A. Approximately 50% of those who have applied for third
party coverage of therapeutic light have been successful in obtaining
some amount of reimbursement. A letter from a prescribing physician or
qualified therapist is generally necessary.
Q. What clinical trials have been conducted?
A. Large controlled clinical trials, involving six
institutions, and more than 200 patients with SAD, were conducted over
three fall/winter seasons beginning 1989. One of these trials which
involved 105 patients and six institutions (National Institute of Mental
Health, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, University of Utah,
University of British Columbia, university of Toronto) was the single
largest controlled trial ever done on the use of light treatment for SAD
(Joffe, R., et. Al., Psych Research, 1993, 46:29-39). Results of another
trial involving 55 patients has also been published. (Rosenthal, N.E.,
et. Al., Neuropsychopharmacology, 1993, Vol 8, No. 2). Clinical efficacy
was demonstrated in all three trials.