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Enchroma glasses: Helping Colorblind people see Color

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Color blindness is a condition where a person’s eyes cannot see color accurately and have difficulty telling colors apart.  It is estimated that 300 million people are colorblind worldwide.  One in 12 men are colorblind and one in 200 women are colorblind.  The genes that influence color vision are carried on the X chromosome and if these genes are abnormal or damaged, color blindness occurs.  

What causes color blindness?

The retina in the back of the eye contains three types of cone cells that correspond to three types of photoreceptors – red, green, and blue.  Red-Green color blindness is caused by the overlap of red and green photoreceptors in the eye. 

How does color blindness affect the color blind?

Imagine going shopping for clothes without the ability to tell the difference between colors or when shopping for produce at the grocery store.  What if you wanted to cook a steak and couldn’t tell if the steak was done because you couldn’t see pink or red? These are some of the situations that people who are colorblind face everyday.  Not to mention work limitations, safety when driving and learning color-coded information in school.

What can be done?

EnChroma eyeglass lenses use special-filtering technology to help red-green color blind people see more of the full spectrum of color without compromising color accuracy or balance.  The lenses can be customized to your prescription for ultimate clarity. For some people the brain adjusts quickly and the effect is instant when first wearing the eyeglass lenses.  For others, it may take 10-15 minutes or more for the brain to adapt. 

If you are colorblind come to our office today to test drive Encrhoma glasses.

Check out the video below of a 66 year old man seeing color more accurately for the first time!


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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