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Enchroma Glasses: How Do Enchroma Glasses Work For Color Blindness?

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EnChroma is a technology company based in California that has designed one of the most popular glasses for those with color blindness, offering the potential to help wearers detect differences between colors they may not have otherwise.

Color blindness is particularly common in males, with one in 10 males having a color deficiency according to the Canadian Association of Optometrists. Complete color blindness would mean that one’s vision is restricted to black, white and gray. More commonly, people with poor color vision only have difficulty distinguishing between red and green.

For some people with color blindness — especially for those with partial red-green color blindness — EnChroma glasses can add vibrancy to the colors that they typically do not fully experience.

However, the EnChroma company has stated that for people with complete color blindness, the glasses may not help. In order for EnChroma glasses to enhance what wearers see, the wearer must be able to distinguish some color.

How Do Enchroma Glasses Work?

Typically, color blindness occurs when there is are faulty color-reporting photoreceptor cells in the retina — M (green) and L (red) color cones — causing distinct hues that our eyes receive from white light to become indistinguishable. Many color vision deficiencies are caused by an abnormal overlapping response to light by these cells in the retina, and as a result, the number of shades of color seen by a typical color blind person may be reduced by up to 90%.

While the glasses may not “cure” color blindness, EnChroma lenses reportedly compensate for this abnormal overlap response using contain proprietary optical materials that filter particular wavelengths of light exactly where the overlap is occurring — at the “confusion line” between the M and L cones. According to EnChroma, the technology “increases the contrast between the red and green color signals, alleviating symptoms of color blindness for a richer experience of the world.”

How Much Are Enchroma Glasses?

EnChroma glasses are designed to improve the color vision of people with forms of anomalous trichromacy, which are estimated to comprise four out of five cases of color blindness. With products designed for indoor and outdoor wear, glasses can range in price, averaging around $350 for children and $350-$550 for adults.

Enchroma glasses are one potential solution for those with color blindness. However, they may not work for everyone. Your optometrist will be able to consult and properly test your vision to determine if solutions such as Enchroma glasses would be right for you.

To learn more about EnChroma glasses and schedule an eye exam to find out if they are right for you, contact today.

Written by Dr. Ronald Nicholas Strohan

Dr. Strohan has been an integrative optometrist in the Milton, Ontario area for over 40 years and has always stayed true to his philosophy of focusing on excellent patient eye care. He has studied behavioural optometry for more than 4 decades and is passionate about providing clear vision for patients of all ages. He takes pride in offering the latest eye care products and advancements in vision therapy.
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