Sunglasses with OLP(TM) – What Parents Should Know About the Body’s Own Protection from Blue Light

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MelaKids’ new sunglasses use patented lenses made with Melanin and OLP providing children with the natural protection they need now – but would not get until adulthood.

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“Melanin and OLP work together to filter light in a manner that optimizes protection, circadian rhythm and vision clarity,” says Garcia.

MelaKids, a Laredo-based company, has introduced a new concept for children’s sunglasses that uses the body’s own blue light filter. When we’re born, Nature gives us a full supply of melanin – in the back of the eye – to reduce glare. But with age, we continuously lose this natural glare-reducing pigment; however, around the age of thirty, we develop a yellow-brown pigment in the lens – ocular lens pigment (OLP) - that filters UV and blue light. Kids don’t have this protection in the lens of their eyes, so MelaKids did something about it.

“As a parent of young children I’m excited to offer this new product to other parents who want to provide their children with serious eye protection. We’re introducing a new concept in Melas(TM) sunglasses,” says Cristina Garcia, president of MelaKids. “Melanin and OLP work together to filter light in a manner that optimizes protection, circadian rhythm and vision clarity,” says Garcia.

The vision-protecting qualities of the OLP and melanin contained in the new sunglass lenses are well-known to vision experts. And the general public is especially familiar with the melanin that gives our skin and hair their color. In our eyes, melanin is able to control glare, and its presence is correlated with a lower risk for macular degeneration. “The OLP that grows in concentration in the lens of our eyes has the remarkable feature of filtering the color in proportion to their damage to the retina: violet more than blue; blue more than green and so on,” says Dr. Jim Gallas, CEO of Photoprotective Technologies, the company that developed the patents and licensed the technology to MelaKids.

Gallas points to the so-called transmission spectrum of melanin and OLP. The graph reflects a remarkable engineering achievement by Nature where:

  • transmission of the UV light that causes cataracts is zero
  • transmission of the most damaging light to our retina (what is known as macular degeneration) - between 400 nm and 450 nm - is very low
  • transmission of the so-called ‘good blue light’ – between 450 nm and 500 nm - that wakes us up and sets our circadian rhythm, is relatively higher.
  • At the longer wavelengths between 500 nm and 600 nm where we use the sunlight to get around, the transmission of the melanin-OLP lenses are relatively high.
  • And from 600 nm onward into the red and near infrared wavelength where scientists have recently introduced red light therapy for repair of cells and tissue, the transmission is nearly 100%.

One medical report concluded that this good blue part of sunlight does a better job at waking us up than Starbucks coffee. The importance of a fixed circadian rhythm for the health of children through better sleep has been noted in multiple medical reports. And their lack of OLP may be a cause for the disproportionate incidence of sleep problems among young people. Melas(TM) sunglasses help improve children’s sleep. The melanin and OLP used in the new Melas(TM) lenses naturally filter more strongly the blue light that damages the eye and transmit more strongly the light that wakes us up and helps to set our circadian rhythm.

The new Melas(TM) sunglasses are designed especially for kids by providing them with the same protection and vision enhancement that only occur later in life.

The combination of melanin and OLP in a sunglass lens actually offers everyone a natural filter that meets a balance among vision protection, glare reduction, setting the circadian rhythm, and even red light therapy, but now kids can have access to these same benefits as opposed to an unnecessary and costly delay.

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Jim Gallas
Photo Protective Technologies
+1 (210) 493-6353
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Cristina Garcia
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