Sunlight and the radiation stemming from it has powerful effects on the human body. For example, sunlight absorbed by the skin can aid in the breakdown of cholesterol to form Vitamin D, an important mineral in the body. Another example is the use of full spectrum or blue colored light bulbs to help improve the general mood of people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. That’s right when the winter comes along, and people get depressed, an indoor light bulb will help to simulate the outdoor light that is good for people.
Like everything, though, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Too much sunlight can lead to sunburns, which can temporarily weaken the homeostasis abilities of the skin. Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sunlight can damage your DNA, but in smaller amounts, it can be a way to get rid of bacteria and other dangerous microorganisms. This is the idea behind an air purifier with a UV filter; the air is pulled through a UV light which can disinfect the air and kill any dangerous airborne bacteria, keeping your air clean.
To shine a positive light on the benefits of UV radiation damaging DNA, it is now being harnessed to treat infections in the body by targeting harmful microorganisms in the blood and using UV radiation to damage its DNA. To explain what UV light is, first, let’s start with the word light. Light is complicated, and our human eyes can only see a limited amount of the light that is available. Light is also measured in wavelengths, so visible light is a small section of the actual wavelengths of light that are created by the sun. Ultraviolet light is a section outside of our visible colors that is just really, really purple but includes multiple wavelengths.
What Ultraviolet Light Therapy can do is take multiple UV wavelengths and transmit them through a wire. This wire is connected to a catheter that can be entered into a vein to directly deliver UV light to microorganisms that cannot survive in it for even a short time. The various wavelengths of UV light target specific chemicals in the harmful microorganisms and damages those chemicals, making it impossible for the microorganisms to live. It cooks them. This is beneficial to humans because it is such a small amount of UV light that it is not in harmful enough amounts to hurt humans.
Intravenous Ultraviolet Light Therapy has the advantage of directly applying a UV treatment on the area that comes in contact with many microorganisms, the bloodstream. Previous UV treatments required an epidermal application, but the skin would absorb some of the UV light, rendering it less effective. Other machines required the blood to be pumped through a machine to be treated. The newest technology allows for the most effective delivery of UV light to treat for an infection.
You can step a little lighter on your feet, knowing that this new form of treatment is available. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the office!