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Light waves are electromagnetic radiation. In the medical field, light waves can be used as a method of examination and treatment for certain conditions or diseases, such as skin diseases, jaundice, and cancer
Light waves consist of several types, namely radio waves, microwaves, visible light, infrared, X-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet rays. Each wave has a different function in the medical world.
The types of light waves that are often used to diagnose a disease are X-rays for X-rays and radio waves for MRI examinations. Meanwhile, ultraviolet light is generally used as a therapy for certain diseases.
In addition, the use of visible light as a laser is also often used, both in procedures to treat a disease or for aesthetic or beauty purposes.
Use of Light Waves in the Medical World
In addition to the functions mentioned above, light waves can also be used to treat various medical conditions, such as:
1. Treating skin diseases
Ultraviolet light can be used to treat certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, vitiligo, dermatitis, and skin cancer. With light therapy, the skin will get more vitamin D intake so that it can speed up the wound healing process.
2. Overcoming jaundice
Jaundice in newborns can also be treated by light therapy. This therapy is needed to break down bilirubin into compounds that can be excreted through urine and feces. The light waves used are visible light with a blue-green spectrum.
3. Reducing pain in muscles and joints
Red spectrum light therapy can accelerate bone healing and reduce pain in tendinitis and osteoarthritis. That's because red light can help repair cells and overcome inflammation in muscle tissue and knee joints.
4. Become a cancer treatment
You may often hear the term radiotherapy for cancer sufferers. This therapy uses high-energy light waves, such as X-rays, gamma rays, and proton particles, to destroy or damage cancer cells.
Radiation therapy can kill cancer cells or slow their growth by damaging the DNA of these cells. This therapy is generally as an adjunct to chemotherapy drugs.
5. Overcoming seasonal affective disorder
Ultraviolet light waves can also be used in light therapy to treat seasonal depression or SAD (seasonal affective disorder). This condition occurs when a person experiences depression during certain seasons, especially during winter.
This is because in winter the body lacks exposure to sunlight, resulting in circadian rhythm disturbances and hormonal imbalances. Through light therapy, people with SAD will get exposure to light from artificial light to replace sunlight.
In addition to the various benefits of light waves above, gamma waves are also often used as an alternative to brain neurosurgery to reduce pain and the risk of surgical complications.
The choice of the type of light wave therapy and the duration of its administration is determined by the doctor based on the condition or disease that occurs. All these therapies are generally safe, but in some people they can cause certain side effects.
Some of the complaints that arise after therapy include:
- Skin irritation
- Tired eyes
If these side effects occur, you need to tell your doctor so that therapy can be adjusted.
Light Waves as Lasers in the Medical World
Laser beam is a type of visible light wave that is commonly used for he alth and beauty purposes. In surgery, for example, this light is used to cut, burn, or destroy certain tissues, such as kidney stones, gallstones, or tumors.
In addition, laser light therapy can also improve vision function in LASIK surgery and retinal detachment or retinal detachment. Dentists often use this light for teeth whitening procedures.
While in skin beauty procedures, laser light is often used to remove body hair, remove tattoos on the skin, improve skin texture, and treat black spots and acne scars.
Although rare, laser therapy also has some side effects, such as swelling of the laser affected area, bleeding, or increased eye pressure during eye surgery. Meanwhile, laser therapy for beauty has a risk of side effects such as infection, skin discoloration, and skin rashes.
If you have certain conditions or diseases that require light wave therapy, don't hesitate to consult a doctor first. That way, you will be more confident in undergoing the procedure recommended by your doctor and better understand how to prevent and recognize the side effects that can arise.