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Home » What's New » Innovations in Color Blindness

Innovations in Color Blindness

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There have been a lot of videos going viral lately of color blind people “seeing color” for the first time using specialized glasses. The emotional reactions of amazement, shock and joy even lead some to break down into tears. The glasses provide these individuals a way to view the world in vibrant, living color, as everyone else around them is able to.

One in every 12 men and one in every 200 women have some degree of color blindness or color vision deficiency (CVD). The condition is not actual blindness, but an inability or a decreased ability to see color and perceive differences in color. CVD can be a partial or total deficiency, although total color blindness is not as common. There are two main types of color blindness:

  • red-green - which is most often inherited from the mother’s side on the x chromosome, and

  • blue-yellow - which is much more rare and usually occurs from damage to the nerve. CVD can sometimes be acquired through disease, brain injury or certain drugs or chemical reactions

The World of the Color Blind

Contrary to common misconceptions, a person who is color blind does not see only grey.  He still usually sees color to some extent, but often the colors appear dull or washed out and can be easily confused with other colors. People often have trouble identifying or naming certain colors or distinguishing colors, for example, red and green, as well as orange, yellow and brown may appear similar, particular in low light situations. In fact, while people with normal color vision typically see about one million unique shades of color, individuals with color deficiency are only able to perceive 5-10% of that.

People with color deficiency often do not know they are color blind until they are tested. They assume everyone else perceives colors the same way. Often individuals are tested when they are seeking out certain career paths in which it is essential to distinguish colors such as pilots, electricians or police officers among others.  

Innovations in Color Vision

Color blindness can impair certain aspects of daily life and limit certain activities or job options and therefore there are a number of companies out there working on technology to overcome these difficulties. While there is no cure for CVD, there are aids available that can sometimes assist with increased color perception.  

Eyeglasses/Sunglasses

There are a couple of brands of color enhancing glasses available that help some individuals with red-green colorblindness.

Both EnChroma and o2Amp Oxy-Iso Color Correction Glasses work for about 80% of people with red-green colorblindness - which means that not everyone will have the same experience as those that appear in the videos. The lenses enhance color perception by filtering out the light into different spectral components. EnChroma has two versions - indoor, designed for looking at computer screens and outdoor, sunglasses.  

Another solution is a custom designed ColorCorrection System in which contact lenses and glasses are customized for the individual and are available with or without a prescription. These lenses work by changing the wavelength of the colors as they enter the eye to enhance color discrimination and perception.

Apps for CVD

There are a growing number of apps available for smartphones and tablets that serve as color vision aids for those with CVD.  One example is the Colorblind Avenger which is a color identification program will allows the person to use their mobile device as a visual aid. The user takes a photo or selects an existing photo and when he touches an area on the image the app displays the color of the selected area.

Huevue is another app of colorblind tools that help people with CVD identify, match and coordinate colors. There are many other apps available out there to help aid those with CVD and educate others about living with the condition.

There are even video games and software design tools that are now created with colorblind modes to allow use by people with CVD. While none of these tools and aids are able to restore color vision permanently, they do allow those with the condition to live a more vibrant life.

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Executive Park Eye Care is Re-Opening

Dr. Derber and Dr. Gales will be seeing all patients and examinations starting on April 27 on a modified schedule. Our opticians will be available to fit, order, adjust and repair glasses in full capacity. Our goal is and always will be to preserve the health and safety of our staff and patients.

Thank you for your understanding during this exceptional time in history. As a small business we are glad to return to caring for all our patients in a safe environment. Our practice will be maintaining CDC guidelines for patients and staff with enhanced safety protocols:

1. Sick patients will be instructed to reschedule appointments

-If you have a fever, cough, body aches, chills or have been around anyone with these symptoms we will ask that you delay your appointment.

2. All staff and patients will be wearing masks

-We ask that you come to the office with a mask or face covering garment in accordance with the directive from Governor Polis.

3. Social Distancing in the office will be followed.

-Doctors and staff will be at half capacity and time between appointments has been increased in order to provide the safest environment possible during your visit. In addition, staff will continue to disinfect the office at a level greater than standard requirements.

4. Minimize number of people in the office.

-If you are able, please attend your appointment alone. If a guardian or caretaker is needed, we ask that only one accompanies the patient. Other family members or companions are welcome to wait out in the front lobby or in their vehicle.

We are excited to see everyone soon and look forward to providing you the highest level of care that has kept us in Colorado Springs for over 55 years!

Please contact our office at (719)-574-7000 for appointments or questions.