Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mental Health Benefits of Amber Coloured Lenses

Dec 29th, 2009

Preliminary research has shown that amber colored lenses, which block blue light, can help regulate the mood of those suffering from bipolar disorder, insomnia, sleep deprivation as well as other maladies.  Jim Phelps, M.D., from Corvallis, Oregon, is a pioneer in the field and has written extensively on the subject.
In an abstract from his study titled “Dark Therapy for Bipolar Disorder Using Amber Lenses for Blue Light Blockade”, Dr. Phelps writes that “Dark Therapy”, a treatment that uses total darkness to stabilize mood in those with bipolar disorder, is supported in several studies.  This is basically the opposite of light therapy for depression.

Recent evidence on circadian rhythm in humans suggests that total darkness may be achievable by blocking wavelengths of blue light.   Amber-tinted lenses in safety glasses block these wavelengths from reaching the eye and have shown to keep nocturnal melatonin levels normal in a light environment which totally suppresses the making of melatonin otherwise.  Therefore, circadian rhythms in humans might be able to be impacted by wearing amber tinted lenses at night.  This would help take away the negative impact of light generated from computer screens, florescent lights including those found at Target, and the new fluorescent compacts in your home by creating “total darkness”.

Amber-tinted safety glasses block blue light transmission, but there are other ways of blocking blue light as well.  The key to success is not to allow blue light into your visual field.  Sporty wraparound sunglasses work well too and can be worn indoors as well as out.  These fit close to your face.  Most of these glasses have slits along the inner edge of the frame to prevent fog from building up on the inside of your lenses.  Some of these sunglasses have interchangeable lenses so you can have an amber tinted lens custom made for your glasses and when you’re not using it you can replace it with your sunglasses lens.  Custom lenses can be made for less then $50.  It is possible that amber colored contact lenses would be equally effective, but it is important that you consult your doctor before trying them.

In order to find out how your eyes would look if you wore amber colored lenses you can go to a stock images site online.  The search tools on their site can quickly pull-up the image you want, if it is in their data base.  Be specific in your description in order to have the greatest chance as possible to find what you’re looking for.

If darkness can be created by amber lenses, many medical conditions could be positively affected by their use, such as those suffering from insomnia, sleep deprived nursing mothers, and those with rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

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