Phototherapy - Further Therapeutic Approaches

Also effective against hay fever

Hungarian and German scientists have been able to show in studies that a direct irradiation of the nasal mucosa with a combination of ultraviolet and visible light significantly alleviates hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, itching and nasal running. In the study, 49 patients allergic to mugwort pollen were examined.

Treatment with UV light

For 21 days, patients were irradiated three times a week with a light source inserted into the nostrils. The radiation dose was 5 percent UV-B radiation, 25 percent UV-A light and 70 percent visible light. During the treatment, the dose was slowly increased and a significant improvement in symptoms recorded.

As with UV-free light therapy, overactive immune cells and inflammatory cells are also killed. Because direct irradiation of the nasal mucosa does not interfere with the metabolism of patients like a drug, this procedure could be used especially in pregnant women and children.

Light on - fat off?

Lasers instead of fasting: the research of scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is promising a similar process. There, it has been possible to heat fatty tissue using infra-red laser radiation without injuring the overlying skin layers. Because fatty tissue is heated faster than water at certain infra-red wavelengths, the body can break down and excrete fat. This opens up new perspectives for the treatment of severe acne, cellulite or arterial sclerosis. However, it will probably be some time before it is ready for deployment on a broad scale.

Reimbursement

Certain forms of light therapy are paid by the statutory health insurance if they are prescribed and performed by a contract doctor. Even in the context of a case-by-case decision, the accrued rent or acquisition costs for certain devices can be covered by the health insurance. In these cases, a corresponding, medically justified application must be submitted to the responsible health insurance company before the start of treatment. A conversation with the attending physician and the health insurance is worthwhile in any case.

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