New glasses are improving Colour vision for those people who have common forms of red-green Colour-blindness. You may have even come across emotional, viral videos of people trying Colour blindness-correcting glasses on for the first time. But the question remains how effective are Colour blindness-correcting glasses?
What is Colour Blindness?
The cause behind genetic Colour blindness is the absence of, or problem in the function of, one or more Colour-sensing cone photoreceptors in the retina. The Colour-sensing cone photoreceptors are of three types in total. People who find it difficult to detect green light (deuteranomaly) or red light (protanomaly), experience an overlapping between some of the light wavelengths that the brain interprets as red or green Colour.
Inherited Colour blindness– also known as Colour vision deficiency- stands uncured today. But people with milder forms of red-green Colourblindness can rely on specially formulated Colour-correcting eyeglasses. In such a scenario, these glasses can help improve the contrast between some Colours. The results may vary depending on the type and extent of a person’s Colour vision deficiency. Colourblindness is a common disease, especially among males.
Colour blindness is an inherited disorder, but can also be acquired. People can acquire Colourblindness if they injure their eyes or from another disease that affects vision. Particular medications and aging can also be a cause of Colourblindness.
How do Colour Blindness Glasses Work?
Colour blindness glasses are specially made with specific minerals to absorb and filter out some of the wavelengths between green and red Colours that could confuse the brain. Dr. Ivan Schwab, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology is of the opinion that some of the light that comes through the glasses is blocked.
This blockage helps the red and green light wavelength not overlap with each other that much. Due to this reduced Colour overlapping, the brain receives a clearer signal to help distinguish between the problem Colours. EnChroma makes one of the most popular kinds of these glasses.
Colourblindness glasses cannot change the perception of Colour for people with deficiency caused by a complete absence of red or green photoreceptors. The desired results of the Colour blindness glass’s effect last only as long as they are being worn. The glasses do not modify a person’s photoreceptors, optic nerves, or visual cortex in any way to fix Colourblindness.
EnChroma is the most popular brand of Colourblindness-correcting glasses. It is a technology company that is based in California. EnChroma glasses were designed and developed by Andrew Schmieder, a UC Berkeley- trained mathematician and researcher in the field of perceptual psychophysics, and Don McPherson who is a glass researcher apart from co-founding EnChroma, he invented laser safety glasses for surgeons.
Colour Blindness In Children
Since more than 1 in 20 boys have Colourblindness, it is likely that every classroom will have at least one child with color vision difficulties. Here are tips for parents and educators to help children with Colourblindness:
- Good lighting can make it easier for children with partial Colourblindness to recognize color.
- Label materials by color, such as pencils and paints.
- Don’t color-code boxes for toys or books, but tag them with different shapes.
- Avoid color-on-color books and teaching materials. Black-and-white is best for children with Colourblindness.
Things You Should Know Before Buying Glasses
If you have colorblindness, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Colour blindness glasses might worsen night vision:
Because they reduce the amount of light getting to the eye, it might not be a good idea to wear colorblindness glasses at night. Reducing the amount of light getting into the eye might especially be a problem for people who have other eye conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration. EnChroma, the manufacturer, warns against using the glasses while driving. The company offers an indoor collection that blocks less light, for lower-light conditions.
These glasses are expensive and may not provide the experience you’re hoping for:
Some colorblindness glasses cost several hundred dollars. It’s important to set realistic expectations of how much these glasses might change your vision before you buy. Colourblindness glasses are not typically covered by insurance because colorblindness doesn’t affect a person’s health, so treatment isn’t medically necessary.
Contrast-enhancing glasses aren’t the same as colorblindness glasses:
You may have heard about other devices designed to enhance the contrast between colors, such as hunting glasses or contrast-increasing filters for photography. But those products weren’t developed specifically to enhance color vision in people with colorblindness.
Alternative Methods for Treating Colour blindness
They are a few options but these are very limited. Gene therapy has been developed by researchers which have successfully allowed red-green Colour blind monkeys to see new Colours. This seems like a promising treatment but it not has been tested on humans yet.
There are contact lenses available for Colour blindness. Brand names like ColourMax or X-Chrom make contact lenses for color blind people.
You can try discontinuing medications that are making your “color vision poor”, such as your blood pressure medications and psychiatric drugs. Make sure you visit your doctor first before discontinuing any prescribed medications.
Colourblindness Glasses And Your Vision
Colour blindness may vary among individuals. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. Some people having poor Colour blindness may not even know it.
What others see as a vivid yellow might appear as a dull grey to you. But if someone does not point it out, you wouldn’t even know the problem.
Your interaction with the world can be affected by limited color vision. After putting on “Colour blindness glasses”, it will take you between 5-15 minutes before you start to see colors differently. In some cases, it will take some time to wear the glasses and practice looking at new colors to observe a change. You might need a person who can point out colors that are rich and unique so that you train your eyes to identify them.
Glasses Are Not a Permanent Cure
Colourblindness glasses should not be confused as being a cure for the problem of “Colour blindness”. Once you take off the glasses, the world will appear the same as before. Responses to this new technology are varied. Some people experience an immediate, dramatic result, while others are not really impressed.
Speak to your eye doctor before getting the Colourblindness glasses. They can examine your eyes and let you know if you really need this kind of treatment. They can talk to you about the expected possibilities about your specific type of Colour blindness. The best way to treat your eyes is to visit your eye care professional and get your eyes checked regularly. He will be able to assess the best method of treatment for your eye ailment.
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