Sensory Issues and Light Sensitivity
Children face numerous sensory difficulties that arise as a result of genetics, antibiotics, and other medications, prolonged exposure to computer and smartphone screens, and many other factors. SPD or sensory processing disorder over-stimulates their senses, making them incapable of performing day-to-day activities, in classrooms and social settings. Certain exercises can help them regain control of their senses. These activities trigger stimulation of senses in a controlled range, enabling them to cope with their environment, and bolstering in them the confidence to replicate learned responses in varied social settings.
Many children are over-stimulated and show abnormal responses when exposed to minute amounts of lighting. This overstimulation is mainly caused by visually stressing factors that cause sensory overload and, in turn, muddle up sensory pathways.
Instant fatigue while reading, lack of mental focus, poor reading skills, and flushed eyes are all symptomatic of sensory hypersensitivity.
The Role of Fluorescent lights
Recent research has shown that colors have a significant effect on a person’s biological receptivity. Our smartphones emit light of blue wavelength, which inhibits melanin ― a hormone that regulates sleep. Poor quality dictates the behavior of children and adults alike. That is why we need to stop using phones, tablets, and computers several hours before sleeping. Reduced sleep due to blue light increases stress levels, which, in turn, creates light hypersensitivity. It’s all interconnected.
Light Sensitivity: Remedies
- Balanced-Spectra Lights
Florescent lights, installed in most schools, stimulate stress hormones. Children develop hypersensitivity problems due to prolonged exposure to these types of lights. These lights need to be replaced with full-spectrum lights that are more identical in composition and quality to natural sunlight. This small change can radically improve the learning behavior of a child. Many teachers have recognized sensory improvement in their students after replacing single-wavelength lights with light of balanced spectra. The link will take you to Verilux HappyLight Liberty which is compact and provides 10,000 LUX, which is recommended by professionals. It provides safe, natural spectrum light therapy in a practical size.
- Eat Dark Vegetables
Dark vegetables, such as red cabbage and spinach, rich in carotenoids, reduce light sensitivity problems, according to recent studies.
- Polarized sunglasses
Ensure that your kid always wears polarized sunglasses in outdoors, especially on bright sunny days, to protect himself from harmful radiations of the sun. However, don’t let him overuse these glasses because it could diminish his ability to cope with light exposure altogether. His eyes might get unaccustomed to dealing with light due to extended usage.
- Lifestyle changes
Certain lifestyle changes, such as playing outdoors and staying away from computer and TV screens, also improves the sensory health of the child. Eye strain and headaches are results of prolonged exposure to harmful wavelengths of light emanating from LED and LCD screens.
- De-stressing activities
Stress is the number one culprit when it comes to light sensitivity issues. Children face pressures from their parents, school and friends, and require prompt distressing. Otherwise, they are unable to function at any level. Arrange fun and calming activities for them that promote confidence and alleviate stress levels, such as board games, healthy conversations, and bonding with family can greatly reduce effects of light sensitivity.
Does your child have a sensitivity to light or other sensory integration difficulties? What has helped in your family?
Elle (CleverlyChanging) says
The information that stated “Our smartphones emit light of blue wavelength, which inhibits melanin ― a hormone that regulates sleep,” was new to me. I try not to keep my phone on in or near my bed because of radiation, but the light is another important and convincing reason to get our digital gadgets out of our bedrooms.
Yeah those bright lights are one of my daughters issues! I also really struggle with them.
We tend to avoid them as far as possible, its just easier.
2 out of 4 of my kids have sensory issues on various levels.
We don’t have light sensitivity in the family and I don’t know anyone who has it. We have it the other way around — darkness is what bothers us (winters are rough!!!) But I have a feeling that it’s a lot easier to handle that light sensitivity… Good luck to you (you seem to have it in control!) and to everyone else who has this issue.
I’m pretty sure my son struggled with light sensitivity when he was very young, but thankfully he seems to have grown out of it/gotten over it. It was amazing how much it affected him, though, and how careful we had to be in order not to upset him. Definitely not an easy issue to deal with.
This Mum At Home says
Wow I did not realise there were things like this you could do to help ! Thanks for sharing so helpful 🙂