Monday, May 16, 2016

Blue Light Protection Glasses for the Special Needs Child

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Awhile ago I had the chance to trial cell phone radiation deflectors by a company called I Am Cell Aware.  I was really impressed with the results of that product, but as equally impressed with one of their other products: Blue Light Protection Glasses.  If you are like me this is probably the first time you have ever heard of Blue Light Protection Glasses.  Although, after researching the benefits they really make a lot of sense for the world of technology that we live in.  Technology however, does not come without its consequences.  Computers, Tablets, and Smartphones harm our eyes, sleep and overall health, which many of us never give a second thought to.  All devices put out blue light and the absorption of blue light increases your risk of going blind from developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  This is incurable and irreversible.

But that's not the only consequence to blue light absorption.  Blue light exposure also stops the body's natural protection of melatonin.  This is huge for children who have special needs many of whom already struggle with melatonin levels. In fact so much so, that melatonin is now sold as an over the counter supplement.   Studies show that lack of melatonin is related to the disruption of the circadian rhythm synchronization resulting in sleep deprivation.  Studies also demonstrate that melatonin contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help to prevent heart disease.  Furthermore melatonin may assist wit the lowering of blood pressure levels and improving cholesterol profiles.

Studies have also demonstrated the cancer-fighting ability of melatonin against a wide array of cancers.

Blue light indeed has a dark side.  Self-luminous electronic devices emit optical radiation at short wavelengths, close to the peak sensitivity of melatonin suppression. Melatonin suppression resulting from exposure to blue light can cause a host of health complications, especially further complicating any diagnosis that a child with special needs has.  Neuroscientists even go as far as recommending no blue light exposure for at least two hours before sleeping.  Are people inclined to give up their computers, tablets and electronic devices all in the name of preserving their health?  Sadly the answer is no.  But there are ways that we can take measures to protect ourselves while using electronic devices. 

Many non-verbal children like, my son Noah, must turn to forms of augmentative and alternative communication, otherwise known as AAC.  There sole and often only way of communication is by using a computer or tablet device.  This puts them at even greater risk for melatonin depletion and health harm.  Something that isn't even considered or discussed widely in the special needs community or with treating therapists or physicians.  So how well do blue light glasses work with AAC devices you might ask?  The answer is surprisingly well!   I played around with I Am Cell Aware's Chicago Unisex Clear Blue Light Protection Glasses with Noah's Tobii Eye Gaze Device.  It tracked my eyes using the blue light glasses the entire time.  This is huge!  This means if you have a child that relies on AAC device for long periods of time through the day that blue light glasses will assist in protecting their eyes and preserving their melatonin levels.

Blue light is extremely dangerous for children.  Children's pupils are larger thereby letting in more UV and blue-violet light than adults and their crystalline lenses are more transparent meaning it is less efficient in filtering out UV.

We are excited to have Noah try blue light glasses and as soon as we can find a special needs eyeglass frame that works well for him, we will have the glue light lenses put in so that he can use his AAC device safely for his eyes and overall health.  I Am Cell Aware has a variety of different eye glass options... eventually I hope to obtain the San Francisco Women's pair that have purple frames as a spare, and they have six styles for children that come in styles that will appeal to both genders.  The adult versions retail for $124.95 and the child versions retail for $109.95.   They are well worth the investment.  And if you purchase soon and use the code "Noah,20 percent of the sale goes to assist children with special needs, like Noah. 

There are lots of blue light glasses on the market, but not all blue light glasses are created equal.  I Am Cell Aware produces a product that is scratch resistant, with sturdy frames and lenses.  I Am Cell Aware also uses Crizal® Prevencia™ No-Glare lenses with Light Scan™ represent the first application of new patent-pending technology that enables selective attenuation of harmful light – both UV and blue-violet – while allowing beneficial light to pass through and maintaining exceptional transparency.   I am able to see clearly through these glasses as if I weren't wearing any at all.  I also do not have difficulties with my eyesight and my vision is not distorted while wearing them. I Am Cell Aware offers a 1 year warranty on both frames and lenses and they can accommodate far-sighted and need magnification numbers.

After using them for approximately six weeks I can definitely tell a difference in my eye strain and in my ability to fall asleep faster.  I wish I had known about the relationship to blue light with devices sooner.  Since Noah is heavily reliant upon AAC communication, being aware of blue light exposure is really important.    I Am Cell Aware is a company with exceptional customer service and could accommodate your choice of special needs eye glass frames and fit them with their blue light lenses.  I am thankful that this is an option for children with special needs who are reliant on technology for their daily living needs.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.