Can Red Light Therapy Cause Headaches?

Headaches are frequent, with severe headaches or chronic migraines potentially disrupting the circadian rhythm. And with the rise of RLT in these past few months, we are left to wonder whether red light therapy is the culprit behind the potential rise of migraine sufferers.

But, can red light therapy cause headaches, as one of the few side effects people experience during RLT?

Even though RLT or Photobiomodulation is a fairly new treatment, it is known for its many health benefits and helps with skin improvement, and is known to deal with many chronic diseases, it does come with its side effects.

Let’s see if severe headaches are one of them and what scientists have discovered thus far.

Can Red Light Therapy Cause Headaches?


What Is Red Light Therapy?

Light therapy uses sunshine or precise low-light wavelengths for a set period to potentially treat acne, seasonal affective disorder, and a variety of other diseases. Even though this medication is generally deemed highly safe, side effects are possible.

Patients that use RTL may experience irritation, headaches, sore eyes, sleep disruptions, and sleeplessness. Minor visual side effects aren’t uncommon, although they may resolve quickly. To prevent patients from more serious side effects, the professionals that administer the RLT need to establish a proper mild dose and timing depending on the individual health and needs.

What Is the Process of Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy involves the application of a red light lamp, device, or laser to your skin. It is absorbed and converted to energy by your cells’ mitochondria, also called the “power generators” of your cells. Some specialists believe that this helps cells repair and grow healthier. This might aid in the restoration of skin and muscle tissue.

Red light therapy emits minor heat levels and doesn’t cause pain or burns to the skin. It is not the same light used in sunbathing salons and doesn’t treat your skin to potentially damaging UV rays.

What is RLT used for?

Researchers have been studying red light therapy for some time. Nobody is certain it is superior to other recovery therapy forms because there hasn’t been much significant research done. But, there are some instances where RLT has shown promising results.

Dental pain

A small study found that red light therapy reduced pain, clicking, and jaw tenderness in persons with temporomandibular dysfunction syndrome.

Hair loss

According to one research, people with androgenetic alopecia who used an RLT machine for 24 weeks had thicker hair. Participants in the study who utilized a bogus RLT gadget did not achieve the same outcomes.


According to one study, red and infrared light treatment reduced osteoarthritis-related discomfort by more than 50%.


A short trial of seven persons found that RLT reduces inflammation and discomfort in individuals with Achilles tendonitis.

Wrinkles and other skin aging and damage signs

According to research, RLT assists in smoothing your skin and reducing wrinkles. RLT may also help with scars, burns, and UV sun damage.

Related: Can Red Light Therapy Cause Hair Loss?

Where Can You Obtain Red Light Therapy?

It is typically performed at a doctor’s office. However, several salons do it as well. You can also purchase your personal red light therapy machine. Adverse effects and harm are more likely to happen when you administer therapy in a salon or at-home as you might have little experience in using the machine. Consult your doctor first if you’re thinking about using red light therapy.

What Are the Risks of Using Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy seems safe and without adverse effects, at least when it’s used shortly and as advised. This procedure is non-toxic, non-invasive, and less harsh than specific topical skin treatments. RLT doesn’t use the ultraviolet (UV) light found in the sun or tanning booths.

Your skin or eyes (if not protected) may be injured if you use RLT excessively or fail to follow instructions.

Your best bet is to consult with a doctor or a certified, trained cosmetic therapist. A dermatologist can confirm your skin condition and discuss the benefits of red light therapy and other treatment choices.

Can Red Light Therapy Cause Headaches?

One of the most prominent side effects of RLT is a headache. This side effect might be caused by dry eyes or dehydration. When the former occurs, the headache can be avoided by wearing goggles, as indicated above.

But it’s more complicated for the latter. Although red light therapy doesn’t dehydrate you, it may increase your sensitivity to light, which may induce or worsen headaches. In between each treatment session, we suggest drinking a glass of water.

Where Can You Obtain Red Light Therapy


How Does Red Light Therapy Help With Headaches?

Red light therapy is becoming more widely acknowledged as a potentially supportive treatment for a wide range of illnesses and a natural technique that may improve cell functioning and, hence, general health and well-being. That may seem like a complex order, but there is plenty of research to back it up, and the corpus of literature is rising by the day.

It’s becoming more and more evident that red light therapy does indeed have a positive effect, one that has the potential to transform the lives of those who have been suffering for months, years, or even their entire lives. This might be true even though researchers are only beginning to understand the underlying mechanisms that make red light therapy effective in treating headaches and migraines.


The overwhelming opinion among those researching red light therapy is that it is perfectly safe to use and carries no significant dangers or adverse effects. This consensus is growing as the body of research does.

Red light therapy may therefore be a good and safe option if you’re searching for a fresh approach to managing chronic pain. However, the potential side effects might still occur, including headaches. For that, we recommend drinking plenty of water before using this kind of therapy.

We hope this article helped you answer the question of whether can red light therapy cause headaches, but we nonetheless advise consulting a doctor before trying red light therapy.

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