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Side effects are rare and minor, though those with diabetes and eye problems are at greater risk of eye damage, and some studies suggest an increased risk of manic episodes among those with bipolar disorder.

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10,000 lux or more is the optimal intensity for bright spectrum white light boxes

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Most likely not, or not as effective as light therapy through the eyes.You can read more on the topic here: http://www.beatthewinterblues.info/light-therapy-through-ears/

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A tanning booth is not recommended as it has hardly any effect on the mood. In addition, tanning booths have UV rays that are harmful to the eyes and skin. If you have winter blues, a tanning booth is not the place to go,

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As a general rule it is recommended that you use the light box early in the morning right after you wake up. Using the lamps in the evening might have a detrimental effect on your sleep. The timing is however personal, so consult with your doctor and experiment to find the best time to use the light box. You can have multiple sessions per day.

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