There has been an advertisement about new glasses that can improve the color vision of people who have common forms of red-green colorblindness. There is an inherited type of color blindness known to be color vision deficiency which does not have a cure. Color blindness glasses can change how people can see by enhancing the distinction between red and green. The result varies on the type and extent of color vision deficiency of the person.
It is emphasized that these glasses do not give people the true equivalent of natural color vision. They just improve the contrast between some colors. Genetic color blindness occurs because there is an absence or problem in the function of one or more color-sensing cone photoreceptors in the retina.
People can experience overlap between some of the light wavelengths where the brain interprets red or green as the color. Deuteranomaly refers to the difficulty of detecting green light and protanomaly for the difficulty of detecting red light. According to Ivan Schwab, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, color blindness glasses are made with minerals that can absorb and filter wavelengths between red and green that confuse the brain.
The light coming through the glasses is blocked so the overlapping will not be that much. A less color overlap means the brain will have a clearer signal to distinguish colors. EnChroma is one of the most popular kinds of color blindness glasses.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying Colorblind Glasses
● Night vision may worsen with colorblindness glasses because the amount of light getting to the eye is reduced. It is not a good idea to wear colorblind glasses at night. It can also be a problem for people who have other eye conditions such as macular degeneration or cataracts.
● Colorblindness-correcting glasses are expensive and they may not provide the expectations you are hoping for. It is not typically covered by insurance.
● Contrast-enhancing glasses are not the same as color blindness glasses because it is not designed to enhance the color vision of people who are colorblind.
What Is the New Treatment That May Restore Color Vision?
Be mindful that the effects of the glasses last only when they are being worn. The glasses do not modify the photoreceptors, optic nerves, or visual cortex of a person to fix color blindness. It will not change the color perception of people who have deficiency due to the complete absence of green or red photoreceptors. A gene therapy developed by researchers has successfully treated monkeys who are red-green colorblind to see new colors. Unfortunately, the therapy is not yet tested in humans.