Cold Laser Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
Are cold lasers safe?All the cold lasers sold by ColdLasers.Org are safe when used properly. Cold lasers must be used according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most of the products sold at ColdLasers.Org have an FDA clearance and many also have CE certification, a mark of European safety and legal compliance. Certain parts of the body like the eyes and thyroid are sensitive to laser light but the protocol manuals that come with each laser cover safe usage.
My medical condition isn't listed in the clinical studies. Can it be treated with a cold laser?When cold lasers are FDA cleared, the approval is for a very specific application. It is against FDA regulation to sell a product for an "off label" application. Once a product is purchased, it can be used for any application including off label use, at the owner's discretion. For professionals, they can not advertise the use of an FDA- cleared product for any service that includes "off label" applications. Cold lasers are typically cleared for application based on pain control, inflammation reduction, and increased healing. Other conditions have been treated using medical cold lasers (see clinical studies listed on this site). Doctors often prescribe cold laser therapy for patients that are not responding to traditional therapy and new therapies are being developed constantly. Always consult your doctor.
My medical condition has not been diagnosed. Can I still use a cold laser?We do not recommend using a cold laser for an undefined or undiagnosed condition. Whenever possible, it is best to get cold laser therapy performed by a professional. Once you see that it works, the return on investment for owning a cold laser can be as little as 4 months.
What about visual safety or eye damage?
The level of safety is proportional to the laser class. Class I and II lasers are very safe with very little potential for eye damage. Glasses should always be used with a Class III device, and we recommend an interlock system for Class IV lasers. No one should look directly at the laser. Even though IR emitters are invisible to the eye, they can do damage. With a Class I device, the use the safely goggles is largely the matter of personal preference and comfort.
Is cold laser therapy safe?
Yes. Laser therapy is a drug-free, non invasive alternative therapy. In many cases it provides superior healing ability to conventional treatment. Use the following guidelines:
- Never shine the laser directly into the eye
- Do not use cold lasers on any neoplastic tissue (tumors, cancers, or abnormal tissue)
- Pregnant patients should refrain from laser therapy applied directly on the abdomen.
The light from a low level laser is absorbed by healthy cells and does not trigger a change. The light only interacts with damaged cells so there is no way to overpower an injury. Class 1, 2, and 3 lasers are safe for home use. Class 4 lasers have the potential for damage if used improperly so they are only sold to professionals.
What happens if something goes wrong with my device?All our products come with a manufacturer's warranty. Should anything go wrong during the warranty period, we will work with you to get the device repaired or replaced.
What is the delivery time?ColdLasers.Org ships most orders within 48 hours via FedEx, UPS, or US Post Office. Our standard "free delivery" is 3-4 days.
What is your return policy?
All returned lasers are subject to a restocking fee of up to 30% depending on the condition.
What can I do with my cold laser after my condition is corrected?
Since cold lasers only interact with injured issue, you can use a cold laser for a wide range of problems including minor pain. By treating areas with only minor pain, you can slowly get your body into better shape. You don't have to have a major injury to use your cold laser.
ColdLasers.Org supports the sale of cold lasers using an open market page. Used lasers should be still under the 2-year warranty period. Buyers typically pay between 30% and 50% of the original purchase price for used equipment in excellent condition. In some cases, this can get the cost of using a TerraQuant laser down to less than the cost of 20 treatments ($60).
How cold lasers compare to LEDs.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are tiny light bulbs. But unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, they do not have a filament that will burn out. They are illuminated solely by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material. LEDs produce incoherent light just like an ordinary light bulb does. Light from LEDs have very little tissue penetration compared to laser light. By applying the first law of photochemistry (Grotthus-Draper Law), which states that light must be absorbed by a molecule before photochemistry can occur, one can immediately conclude that light from LEDs would work only on the more shallow levels of tissue. For conditions that require deeper penetration than skin layers, a laser is the best option.
What's the difference between a pulsed laser and a continuous wave laser?
In general, laser diodes can be either pulsed wave, continuous wave, or both. The continuous wave (CW) diodes emit laser energy for the entire time it is electrically driven, hence its name. Pulsed diodes emit a radiation impulse with a high amplitude or intensity and duration of which is typically extremely short (100 to 200 nanoseconds). Continuous wave lasers produce a fixed level of power during the emission. Focused high power continuous lasers are used to cut and burn tissue.
Class III lasers are limited to 0.5 watts per diode. Higher power levels can be achieved using multiple diodes. Class IV lasers up to 50 watts are based on defocusing the beam so that the energy level is not high enough to damage tissue. Class IV products should only be used by a professional.
Pulsed lasers, as the name implies, produce a high power level impulse of light for a very brief duration for each pulse. It is the high power level during each pulse that drives the light energy deep to the target tissue. Even though the pulse peaks at a high power level there are no thermal effects in the tissue because the pulses are of extremely short duration. Therefore, the peak power of a pulsed laser can be much high than a comparable continuous laser. By using pulsed lasers, one is able to more effectively drive light energy (photons) deeper into the tissue.
It was only recently that engineers were able to make long-life continuous wave products at power levels over 50 mW. This is the main reason over 60% of the therapeutic lasers in the North American market are low power CW lasers or higher powered pulsed wave lasers. Today, it is possible to manufacture a product that does both high power continuous and pulsed wave but they are more expensive than older products.
Can laser therapy cause heat damage or cancer in the tissue?
With the exception of Class IV lasers, the answer is no. Cold lasers use average power levels and a light source (non-ionizing) that do not allow heat damage or carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects. Due to increased blood circulation and the creation of ATP (which triggers cell regeneration), it is not recommended using a cold laser on an area that is suspected to have cancer. There is no evidence that this could be a problem but common sense says that increasing the blood flow to a cancerous area might increase the growth of the cancer.
How deep into the tissue can laser light penetrate?
The level of tissue penetration is based on optical characteristics of the laser beam and the concentration and depth of the chromospheres, which according to the wavelength are absorbed at different percentages. For example, water absorbs almost 100 percent of the laser irradiation in the 10,600 nanometer wavelength. That is why CO2 gas lasers are used in surgical applications for cutting tissue.
Other factors affecting the depth of penetration are the technical design of the laser device and the treatment technique used. There is no exact limit with respect to the penetration of the light. The laser light gets weaker the further from the surface it penetrates with a limit at which the light intensity is so low that no biological effect of the light can be measured. Other factors that may effect the depth of penetration include tissue type, pigmentation, and foreign substances on the skin surface. Bone, muscles, and other soft tissues are transparent to certain laser lights, which means that laser light can safely penetrate these elements.
The radiation in the visible spectrum (400 to 600 nanometers) is absorbed by the melanin in the skin. The whole extension of the visible spectrum (420 to 750 nanometers) is absorbed by composite tetrapyrrolics. In the infrared, which covers about 10,000 nanometers of the light spectrum, water is the main chromosphere or absorbing material. Fortunately, there exists a narrow band in the light spectrum where water is not a highly efficient chromosphere, thereby allowing light energy to penetrate tissue that is rich in water content.
There is a narrow band ( 600 to 1,060 nanometers) called the therapeutic window. Within the therapeutic window, cold lasers have the best properties for deep penetration. Towards the lower end of the therapeutic window, ( 600 to 730 nanometers) cold lasers have less penetration and are suitable for superficial applications such as in acupuncture. The Terraquant Elite and LS50 have penetrations up to 5 inches under typical conditions.