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

“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…

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