Water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) is a special form of infrared radiation (heat radiation) in the range 780-1400 nm, which is used in medicine for prevention and therapy, as it is very well tolerated. wIRA increases tissue temperature, tissue oxygen partial pressure and tissue perfusion.
These three factors are decisive for a sufficient supply of tissue with energy and oxygen. Main clinical effects of wIRA are – independently from indication – a remarkable decrease of pain, inflammation and increased exudation and an improvement of infection defense and regeneration. Numerous physicians and hospitals, especially in Germany, use wIRA already.
wIRA corresponds to the major part of the water-filtered sun’s heat radiation in moderate climatic zones on the surface of the Earth (filter effect of water and water vapour of the atmosphere of the Earth). The filter effect of water decreases those parts of infrared radiation, which would cause – by reacting with water molecules in the skin – only an undesired thermal load to the surface of the skin.
Technically wIRA is produced in special radiators, whose full spectrum of radiation of a halogen bulb is passed through a cuvette, containing water, which absorbs or decreases the described undesired wavelengths of the infrared radiation. While conventional infrared radiators emit between 50–80% of their radiation in the undesired ranges of infrared-B and -C, wIRA radiators emit less than 0.5% in these ranges.wIRA acts both by thermal (related to heat energy transfer) and thermic (temperature dependent) as well as by non-thermal and non-thermic effects.
wIRA can be used as therapy of acute and chronic wounds, in skin diseases (common warts, Herpes labialis, Herpes Zoster, sclerodermia, morphea, acne papulopustulosa), for improvement of resorption of topically applied substances, within a photodynamic therapy (PDT; as therapy of actinic keratosis (light induced damages of the skin)), in illnesses of the musculosceletal system (myogeloses, low back pain, lumbago, tennis elbow, rheumatic disorders, Morbus Bechterew, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia), for regeneration after sports, to improve body composition, especially local fat distribution, and the reduction of fat and body weight in obese persons, and for keeping or increasing of the body temperature (e.g. in newborn children) including compensation of a hypothermia. Besides wIRA can be used for local or systemic hyperthermia in oncology in order to increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Jörg Feuck | idw
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