What is Melanin?

Define: Melanin?
Mel.a.nin / noun: Dark-brown to black pigment occurring naturally in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye. 

Melanin in the eye plays an essential role in protection against sunlight damage in addition to aiding visual acuity. 90% of the light that enters the eye is absorbed by Melanin. The wisdom of nature uses Melanin to protect tissue from sunlight damage.

Melanin reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and reduces the risk of cataracts. Scientists believe Melanin serves as an antioxidant offering protection from harmful free radicals. These free radicals are neutralized by Melanin. We’re all born with an initial supply of Melanin. The human body’s natural homeostasis works to maintain the eye’s original supply. This valuable photoprotective pigment is inevitably and gradually lost. Aging causes levels of melanin to be diminished and increases our vulnerability to damage from the sun. At 40 years old, we have already lost 15% of our initial amount of melanin, and by the age of 50 our melanin is reduced by 25% – losing the valuable protection our retinas receive. By age 65, much of the protection is gone and we are more susceptible to eye disease such as macular degeneration.



Now science and technology make it possible to recreate the benefits of melanin in eyewear.

Eyeglasses made with synthetic melanin provide a practical, affordable, easy method of compensating for the gradual loss of melanin – helping to maintain ocular protection and enhance vision. Melanin provides near optimum protection to the retina and has been successfully added to both prescription and non-prescription lenses for sunglasses, computer glasses, and night driving glass.


Superior eye protection.

In addition to filtering out all of the UV rays (linked to several eye diseases including cataracts), Melanin goes beyond UV by significantly reducing high energy visible (HEV) light (the violet and blue) shown to be a risk factor in macular degeneration (AMD) to the retina.


High contrast without loss of color perception.

Melanin’s progressive filtering of violet and blue light affords the wearer increased contrast and enhanced vision. In addition, ESP’s sun lenses with Melanin improve contrast while preserving natural color.


Eye comfort.

Perhaps the most obvious experience from using sun lenses with Melanin is the absence of eyestrain in bright sunlight areas. Wearers do not have to squint – even in bright sunlight.


Melanin is lost naturally over time.

Our lenses are a technological innovation for anyone's eye needs throughout a lifetime. ESP Eyewear is important for children, and teenagers to reduce the risk of future retinal problems; for adults whose natural defenses of their eyes have begun decreasing; and for people over age 60, whom the natural defenses of their eyes has greatly diminished.

Our High Definition, near clear, lenses offer everyday protection against damaging blue light. Blue light (HEV Light) is the most damaging part of the light spectrum & can reach deeper into the eye than UV (ultraviolet) light. Emerging research has linked Blue Light to long-term vision issues, Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Retina Damage, and even blindness. Light emitted from LED lighting & electronic devices (smart phones, tablets, TV’s computers) are “short wavelength enriched”, meaning they have a higher concentration of Blue light. ESP High-Definition lenses have been designed to filter the harmful portions of blue light, while significantly reducing glare & enhancing contrast.


Melanin at the core.

ESP Eyewear products are infused with Melanin to protect the eyes from sun damage and strain. Melanin is a pigment in the eyes that acts as a natural shield from glare and UV damage, but it decreases as you age (about 50% by age 65). Our lenses compensate with a synthetic Melanin that filters out damaging rays and glare while improving contrast, so users can see print more clearly without squinting or straining in bright sunlight. All our lenses have a scratch-resistant coating for durability, and the frames are made from lightweight, durable plastic.

Infused with Melanin, ESP Eyewear readers prevent eyes from tiring as you read or view a computer monitor. The synthesized melanin in the lenses compensates for aging eyes increased sensitivity to glare by filtering out not only ultraviolet light, but also “high-energy visible” blue/violet light, the next most damaging part of the light spectrum. And though the lenses appear to be tinted, they in fact enhance the perception of true color by removing scattered blue light while improving contrast, as naturally occurring melanin does.

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