A medical office is rarely a place you go because you want to. When a patient comes into a medical office, it is usually because something is wrong. So you can guess that most medical professionals are dealing with people who are already a little stressed out. In addition to the medical care, it’s important that the medical office is a calming, soothing space for the patients. That’s why so many medical offices are installing fluorescent light covers. It turns out that just this simple change can have a huge effect on patient satisfaction.
The Medical Atmosphere
We’ve all experienced it. You walk into a medical office. It could be a dental office, a general practitioner, or some kind of specialist. You’re there because you have to be, not because you want to be. You walk in, and you are greeted by a cold waiting room with old magazines, chairs that were probably comfortable once, and maybe a water cooler or coffee machine. Chances are, the lights aren’t particularly soothing, either. Most doctor’s offices still have the fluorescent lighting that is common in commercial buildings. The glare does little to calm your nerves.
When patients come in with that kind of first impression, it’s not surprising that they approach the whole process with apprehension. Doctor’s office visits rate as one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences among adults. Dental visits are even worse. So anything a doctor, dentist, or another medical practitioner can do to combat that unease is a welcome and important change.
Recently, many doctors and medical professionals have discovered the value or decorative fluorescent light panels. These covers do two things that keep patients happier and increase patient satisfaction. First, they change the light that comes from the fluorescent fixtures. The light becomes less irritating and physiologically harmful. Second, the designs can change the feeling of a room. They brighten up the space and give patients something beautiful to look at. The added beauty can do a lot to take the edge off the medically-induced terror many patients experience.
What Happens When You Have Unfiltered Fluorescent Lights
The big deal for doctors and medical professionals to recognize is just how harmful fluorescent light can be. Without proper filtration, uneasiness is just the tip of the iceberg of adverse health effect from fluorescent light. Fluorescent light has effects on both the mind and body that increase stress and inhibit essential body functions.
One of the most significant adverse effects of fluorescent light comes with prolonged exposure. Replacing natural light with fluorescent light can cause a drop in serotonin levels. It can also affect melatonin production, either raising it if the light is too dim or artificially inhibiting it if the light is too glaring (especially in the blue spectrum). It can also disrupt sleep which throws off the production of cortisol. Taken together, these chemical changes have a major mood altering effect.
Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that is associated with a naturally elevated mood. In many patients who suffer from depression, low serotonin levels are a key symptom and even cause of the depression. You can only imagine, then, how perpetually low serotonin levels can affect mood. Replacing natural light with fluorescent light causes lower serotonin levels, which can bring on an artificially-induced, but very real, depression.
The disruption of melatonin production affects sleep. Ideally, a human should experience regular daylight, with bright light midday and a gradually darkening as evening turns to night. This guides melatonin production which increases sleepiness. The brightness of midday reduces melatonin, making you feel more awake and alert. As the daylight wanes, melatonin production increases, bringing on quality, restful sleep.
When artificial lighting is too dim throughout the day, melatonin production can take place even at midday, making workers feel fatigued. On the other hand, bright light from unfiltered fluorescents, especially those that emit light on the blue end of the spectrum, can have the opposite effect. Artificially low levels of melatonin, especially later in the day, make it harder to get to sleep and make sleep less restful.
Cortisol is an essential hormone that has a wide array of effects on the body. The effects can even change depending on many factors. One significant role cortisol plays is in regulating stress. When sleep is affected by blue light, the normal 24-hour cycle of cortisol production is thrown off. This means that you feel awake in the middle of the night and groggy in the morning. It can also affect weight gain, making the body more prone to gaining weight and fat and less prone to losing it.
Cortisol also has effects on the immune system. Disrupting the cortisol production cycle with blue light-induced insomnia can make it harder for your body to respond to disease. It can also disrupt cortisol’s natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Doctors Are Benefiting from FLuorescent Light Filters
With all the harm done by fluorescent light, it might seem like the only solution is to remove them altogether. However, for many reasons, this may be impractical. First, fluorescent lights were installed in the first place because they are cheap to purchase and run. Second, if you have more than one or two light fixtures in your office, the cost of changing them all can quickly add up. You would need to purchase all new fixtures and then hire an electrician or another contractor to do the removal and installation. For all these reasons, replacement is an impractical solution.
So what can you do? It turns out, there is a great, simple solution: fluorescent light filters!
Fluorescent light panels, also called decorative light covers and fluorescent light filters, combat the harmful effects of fluorescent light. The first thing they can do is to reduce glare. The harm caused by glare is pretty far-reaching. First, to adjust to the brighter light, the muscles in the eye contract and muscled in the face tense up into a partial squint. Over time, those contracted muscles tire, causing fatigue and headaches. The mind has a hard time differentiating between physical and psychological stress, so the physical reaction to glaring light can quickly become an emotional one.
Evening Out the Light Spectrum
Many fluorescent lights emit much of their light in the shortwave, or blue, end of the spectrum. This is especially disruptive to the sleep-wake body cycle. It can make it hard to sleep when you should be sleeping and hard to wake up when you should be awake. The negative health consequences of reduced sleep are too numerous to mention here, but poor health, depression, and weight gain are among them.
Fluorescent light filters can change the light that comes from a fluorescent bulb. They can provide a broader spectrum or just cut down on the blue end. This makes the light less harmful to sleep-wake patterns and reduces sleep-related health problems.
Transforming a Room
The final benefit of fluorescent light panels is that they are also decorative. In addition to all the physiological benefits of fluorescent light covers, there is a very conscious response. Many patients are put at ease just as much by the calming natural images on the covers as they are the by all the physiological processes taking place. One customer, Martha, has recently told us that she has “been getting great reviews from my patients.” Nothing makes us happier.
So if you are ready to make the shift to fluorescent light panels, check out our wide selection to find your favorite. Ordering is a breeze. Just choose your design, choose your size, and check out. Installation is a simple 4 step process that anyone can do with nothing more than a screwdriver. So order yours today and watch the change in your patients!