Researchers at Photoprotective Technologies (PPT) have developed a rating system for assessing the ability of computer glasses to ensure the production of melatonin.

Blue light emitted from computers and other electronic devices disrupts melatonin production and therefore can affect the quality of sleep. The “Melatonin Production Factor” (MPF) rates the ability of eyewear to reduce the blue light that may contribute to sleep loss.

Dr Jim Gallas, co-inventor of the rating system and CEO of Photoprotective Technologies, compares the MPF to the well-known SPF for skin damage. “The MPF allows consumers to make informed decisions about what computer eyewear works best for them,” Gallas says in a release. “For example, a computer lens with an MPF of 6 means that the iPad you stare at for 90 minutes at night is like staring at the same iPad for 15 minutes without the eyewear.”

John-Paul Lozano, Director of Research at PPT and co-inventor of the MPF, says, “We make melanin here in San Antonio and ship it to lens manufacturers throughout the world. The lenses find their way into sunglasses, reading glasses, and computer glasses.” Melanin lenses are considered unique because they filter blue light without compromising the perception of color.

PPT found that the yellow-tinted lenses filter blue light best; they get the highest score with PPT’s new MPF rating system. However, not all computer lenses are the same; each has its own signature “transmission spectrum,” which is the input into the software-based rating system and the output being the MPF. “In order to determine the rating, we factored in different light sources, the manner in which melatonin production is affected by the wavelength of the light, and the specific transmission of a given lens,” Lozano says.