With the advent of the colored contact lenses, patients who suffer from refractive disorders not only get to have their eye problems resolved, they also have the option to choose a new eye color.
The use of contact lenses have evolved greatly since the time they were first introduced as an alternative to using prescription lenses. In the past two or three decades, the introduction of contact lenses became a big thing in the field of Ophthalmology. Patients with astigmatism, wide or narrow angle refractive disorders are the ones who usually choose contact lenses over regular glasses.
Aside from the aesthetic benefits of using colored contact lenses, they also have medical benefits unrelated to errors in refraction. Dr. Jim Phelps from Corvallis, Oregon has done extensive research on the benefits of using amber colored lenses for patients who suffer from bipolar and sleeping disorders.
His study, “Dark Therapy or Bipolar Disorder Using Amber Lenses For Blue Light Blockade” discusses the benefits of blocking blue light to promote a stabilized mood for patients with bipolar disorder. Blue light is electronic emissions from our lighting fixtures and television sets, even our smart phones. Prolonged exposure to this kind of light may disrupt our natural circadian rhythm, thereby causing insomnia and bipolar mood swings.
Our retina has certain photoreceptors that connect directly to our hypothalamus. This is the part of the brain that controls our circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. Stimulating these photoreceptors can increase the level of melatonin in the body, making it difficult to fall asleep. A person who has been deprived of sleep may lapse into a depressed state. According to the study of Dr. Phelps, it is the blue wavelength of light that initiates this chain reaction.
One more interesting finding in the study is that by simply filtering the amount of blue wavelength light that gets into the retina, a state of virtual darkness is experienced by the patient.
Colored contact lenses are very effective in simulating darkness. However, if we opt to use regular eyeglasses with amber tint, they would have to be shaped in such a way that the entire field of vision is covered. A more convenient and practical way would be to use amber contact lenses instead. They give the same effect, bringing the amount of melatonin in the body to its nocturnal levels even when in a lighted environment. Patients will experience a normalized sleep-wake cycle and with continued use of amber contact lenses.
Some people who are suffering from insomnia have benefited from the inexpensive therapy using amber colored contact lenses. The sleep-wake cycle reverts back to normal, with the patient getting up in the morning fully energized. The classic mood swings of persons with bipolar disorder are lessened in both intensity and frequency of occurrence. With a normal circadian rhythm now in place, these patients start to go back to their normal lives and find their place in society.
Who would have thought that using amber colored contact lenses can be used to cure insomnia and Bipolar mood swings?
Other than purchasing lots of medication only to induce sleep, using amber colored contact lenses is worth a try. For a minimal “investment,” this modality of treatment provides relief to patients with bipolar disorder, insomniacs and night shift workers by restoring their natural circadian rhythm.
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