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Your Eyes Resemble A Window For Sunlight’s Gifts – Limit Shading Them Unless Necessary

Ida is a certified aesthetician (graduate of Marvel School of Beauty), offering home-based services since 1994. Ida provides various holistic services; she graduated from Zanqara’s Holistica Skin Care’s Dermatician course in 1994, which required her to understand homeopathic remedies.

 
Executive Contributor Ida Fanelli

Our eyes serve as a conduit for the sun’s many gifts. They orchestrate the production of vital hormones like melatonin, essential for our sleep-wake cycle and overall wellness. The modern-day reliance on synthetic melatonin alternatives raises concerns about its overuse and side effects. I delve into the interplay of sunlight to produce melatonin and other natural stimulation methods. You will understand the nuances of melatonin, its connection to our eyes, sleep patterns, skin health, and broader health issues.


Happy woman wearing sunglasses.

The paradox: Natural vs. synthetic melatonin production

Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone in plants, animals and humans. They say that synthetic melatonin is safer because it’s biologically contaminate-free. Synthetic melatonin supplements differ from natural melatonin produced in our bodies from sunlight and foods.


Melatonin overuse 

Parents and caretakers see melatonin as a cheap alternative for sleep aids. Between 2012 and 2021, the use of melatonin for children has risen excessively and has resulted in melatonin poisoning. US poison control centers report a 530 percent increase in melatonin use among children. Hospitalization and death have occurred for some, according to research published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) publication.


Side effects of taking too much synthetic melatonin supplement

Consumption of excessive melatonin can bring on drowsiness, headache, stomachache, vomiting, dizziness, irritability or restlessness, hyperthermia, high or low blood pressure, dry mouth, dry or itchy skin and photosensitivity issues. 


Understanding ingredients and their holistic health benefits is a part of being an aesthetician. As a Certified Holistic Aesthetician and Reflexologist, I took it upon myself to explore how melatonin affects skin health and overall well-being.


Recommended melatonin dosage

Start with a dosage of 1 milligram and then increase it if needed.


  • For children aged up to 5 years: 1-2 mg

  • For children aged 6 to 12 years: 1-3 mg

  • For individuals over 13 years: 1-5 mg

The philosophy of less is more works in this case. Quite a few companies are adding more than the required amount to supplements. I’ve listed a melatonin supplement with a 1mg concentration at the end of the article.


Melatonin production in the eye

Rhodopsin is a visual pigment found in the retina. It converts long-wavelength UVA light into chemical signals, triggering melanin production. Research indicates that adding retinal stimulates melanin production. Your skin is aware of sun exposure; its pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) detect UV light using photosensitive receptors like those in the eye’s retina, allowing it to mount an immediate defence against damaging ultraviolet radiation. Melanin production begins within hours and prevents Cellular DNA damage and sunburn. UVB exposure in the eyes produces vitamin D by interacting with cholesterol in the skin.


Glasses and sun protection?

The wavelengths of the visible light spectrum (400nm to 700nm) contribute to the health of the eyes, body, healthy hormonal secretions, sleep and immune system. The skin, liver, kidneys and retinas in our eyes play a role in vitamin D absorption. People will develop SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) if they wear sunglasses excessively during the warmer months. Excessive UV-blocking sunglasses on sunny days mislead the body into thinking it is night, resulting in insufficient melanin production and increased melatonin production. The overall health of the skin and the body is affected. 


Therefore, people with or without sight who wear UV-blocking sunglasses outside on a sunny day are tricking their minds into thinking it is night. As a result, it does not produce (enough) melanin to protect your skin from burning and other things mentioned above! 


Sunglasses have a use

Sunglasses are essential to prevent glare for pilots, drivers, skiers, individuals with sensitive eyes, and the visually impaired need them. We should moderate their usage.


Side effects of being visually impaired

Melatonin production decreases when light passes through the pineal glands in our brain and increases when it’s dark. The blind population cannot set their circadian rhythm (internal body clock) for sleeping. 18 % of the visually impaired can’t perceive light at all. 82% of blind people have constant light transmitting through their eyes and must wear sunglasses. Specially designed sunglasses exist for them. Some need medication to manage their sleeping.


UV-protecting products that we need to be concerned about

Products such as transitional lenses, clear prescription glasses, contact lenses, and tinted windows in cars and buildings warrant scrutiny. Dark-tinted sunglasses that do not have UV protection enlarge the pupils, allowing more UV light while simulating night.


Optimal glasses to avoid UV protection?

With the updated information, optometrists are now recommending UV-free glasses. CR39 is a non-UV-blocking pair of glasses that provides superior optics and is a less expensive option. However, it offers less eye protection because it is non-impact resistant. Even though the lens is heavier and thicker, it scratches, cracks, or shatters more easily. 


Natural ways to control melatonin production

Since the beginning of time, our eyes have evolved to recognize the morning sun as a cue to wake up and the red evening sun as a signal to sleep. Utilizing natural and electronic light with these colours has also been shown to help. Red light seen before bedtime enhances sleep, while blue light tells the eyes it’s daytime. 


Electronic devices now feature settings that allow users to adjust blue light emissions to fit their schedule. Display and Brightness, Eye Comfort Shield, or Night Shift are settings.


Many foods contain safe, natural melatonin or precursors to make your melatonin, offering additional avenues to produce melatonin.


Options to protect your skin and circadian rhythm

Proper sunscreen or consuming foods with natural vitamin A gives the body UV protection. A broad-brim hat or baseball cap can serve as an alternative to sunglasses, minimizing UV exposure and preserving eye health. Limit UV prescription clear or transitional glasses when outside to ensure the eyes get sunlight during the day. The visually impaired can explore options to fit their needs. There is a delicate balance between natural and artificial light exposure and circadian regulation.


Unexplored realm of uv-coated glasses

The potential implications of U.V.-coated glasses on melatonin regulation in combination with synthetic melatonin overdose may compound existing concerns. Could it be possible that the UV coated glasses are adding to the above issues combined with excessive synthetic melatonin levels? Further research is necessary to inform recommendations.


Sun tanning beds effect on tanning

UVA-rich sun tanning bed lamps penetrate deep into the skin’s layers to promote indoor tanning. They mislead the public to think it increases protection against subsequent UV exposure and reduces DNA damage. Sun Tanning beds do not have UVB rays, which produce cancer-fighting vitamin D by interacting with cholesterol in the skin. Hybrid tanning beds combining UVA with Red light increase the production of tanned skin cells. The clients aren’t any safer using this method. 


Conclusion 

Our eyes are entrances to the brain’s many functions. They lead many processes, from melatonin production to vitamin D synthesis. Our modern-day reliance on UV-protective products and synthetic melatonin leads us away from nature’s balance of light and hormones. Melatonin, in its natural form, is more effective than synthetic melatonin. A symbiotic relationship with the natural rhythms of the morning sunlight and sunset is the simplest way to rejuvenate sleep and better health. I have also offered other suggestions of how you can naturally stimulate melatonin when the sun isn’t as prominent. 


This article is for educational purposes. Please check with your healthcare provider to ensure it is appropriate for you.


 

Ida Fanelli, Aesthetician, Reflexologist, IPL Technician

Ida is a certified aesthetician (graduate of Marvel School of Beauty), offering home-based services since 1994. Ida provides various holistic services; she graduated from Zanqara’s Holistica Skin Care’s Dermatician course in 1994, which required her to understand homeopathic remedies. Ida has been a certified reflexologist since 1993 (graduate of D’Arcy Lane Institute). She has also been practicing Healing Energy since 1998 and has added the Ion Cleanse Foot Detox to her therapies. In 2012, Ida became a certified Sharplight Laser (IPL) Technician. She enjoys learning new techniques which can benefit her clients. In 2019, she received certification from the Center for Pain and Stress Research (CPSR.) She can now speed up the healing of scars and help with pain caused by surgical scars to her list of specialties.


She enjoys continuing her education in the complementary health field. Many can testify that Ida is committed to ensuring her clients access adequate and affordable quality service and treatment.

Beyond her many years of experience as a holistic practitioner, Ida draws on her 12 years of experience as a hospital laboratory technologist in Microbiology and Biochemistry.

 

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