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Enchroma – Color for the Color Blind

  -   5. May 2017
Source: PublicDomainPictures/

Human beings are normally able to see about one million distinct shades of color.
Unfortunately, millions of people worldwide are affected by color blindness and cannot fully take part in the beautiful and colorful world we live in. Those suffering from this condition only see around 5% to 10% as many colors. New studies have found that approximately one in twelve men and one in 200 women suffer from some kind of color blindness.

What is color blindness?

Color blindness, also called color vision deficiency (CVD), is a condition where a person’s eyes are not able to see colors under normal light. People struggling with color blindness have a hard time separating colors.
Most people afflicted with this condition are not blind to color per se, but have reduced abilities seeing colors. Humans normally have three types of color-senses in their eyes: senses for the colors red, green and blue. The wavelengths of light that these three senses absorb have overlapping regions. To put it bluntly, color blindness is a malfunction that causes wavelengths to overlap too much, resulting in poor color discrimination. The conditions range over a variety of different types of color vision impairment, red-green color blindness being the most common.
Color vision deficiency is inherited in most cases. However, it can indeed develop over time. Basically, if the necessary genes influencing color vision are damaged or non-existent, color blindness occurs.

How does color blindness affect everyday life?

Even though color vision deficiency is merely impairment to eyesight and does not bring any other bodily implications with it, people suffering from color blindness do in fact encounter numerous difficulties in their daily life.
Color-name confusion can impede communication and the proper expression of thoughts or feelings. For people with color blindness, when colors bled together they are even more difficult to distinguish. For this reason, they might have problems telling the difference between similar shades of colors and as a result name colors by the wrong name.
Moreover, difficulty with traffic signals can be a serious problem and danger for the color blind. In case of a strong color vision deficiency the green, yellow and red colors of a traffic light may appear very pale and indistinguishable to an affected person. Especially in low light or at night this could lead to slowed recognition and reaction, affecting safety on the road.

What are Enchroma glasses and how do they work?

Enchroma glasses may look like ordinary tinted glasses, but have an astounding effect when it comes to the proper vision of color. Enchroma glasses are special glasses combining color vision science and the newest optical technologies on the market. They are the only specialty eyewear that alleviates red-green color blindness and enhances colors, enabling the wearer to perceive colors more accurately and intense.
To exemplify, if a person suffers from red-green color blindness their red and green photopigments responsible for those colors overlap more than those of a person with normal color vision. This makes it impossible for them to detect certain colors. Enchroma has now found a way to ease this by creating a specialized lens that filters out specific colors and simultaneously intensifying the missing colors. This lens separated the overlapping red and green photopigments, improving the sight of reds and greens.
If people with normal color vision were to put on Enchroma glasses, they would see a so-called “color boost” effect. This means that certain colors appear to stand out with an extraordinary vibrancy.

In the following some facts about Enchroma glasses are listed:
• Originally protective glasses for laser surgery, then accidently discovered to be glasses that enhance color
• The discovery lead to research and advancement to glasses that provide optical aid for the color blind
• Enchroma glasses were first launched in 2012
• Price for a pair of Enchroma glasses ranges from 269$ (Kids’s glasses) to 349$ or 429$ (Adult version)
• Available in different colors and frame designs

Who wrote it?

Lea Rottmann

Lea Rottmann is a student at the European Management School in Mainz.


Shanice Mack
09-05-2017 20:57

First of all, I didn't know how many people are affected by color blindness. Your blog is very interesting, I like the way you explain the problems which can occur if you aren't able to distinguish between red and green, especially in traffic lights. Furthermore, we as "normal" people cannot adopt to it, how it must feel to stand in a big green field with many colorful flowers around us and all we see is grey. Moreover, your social environment, like home, friends, loved ones, you never saw them in full color and all this could be changed by simple glasses which aren't that expensive and worth it to buy. Also, very interesting is that they were invented as protective glasses for surgery and by accident revealed such a great and helpful innovation and change in life experience. My opinion is, that kids should get benefits for buying such glasses. For example, a family, with not that amount of money, it could be hard to offer their kids a colorful life and this could be changed through benefits which are manifested in a regulation. But besides all that, Enchroma is a great innovation and I will be excited if they may exist as contact lenses one day, so you won't need the glasses anymore.

Tabea Arnold
09-05-2017 05:00

It is terrifying how many people suffer from color blindness whilst others do not even recognize it. So many people are used to this problem and they do not bother anymore. As you all know the videos when people who never saw colors and then get glasses on and see colors, it is touching and unbelievable. This innovation is not only a good business opportunity but also a great help for color blindness people. It is reasonable that these glasses are expensive, although, it should give the opportunity to receive them for free as a color blindness person. Innovating in this industry is extremely interesting as there is always the possibility and option to improve such glasses over time. It will be interesting how far this technology can go, maybe someday it will even be available in form of contact lenses.

Annika Amann
08-05-2017 22:23

WOW! One in two men are color-blind? That’s truly a great number. The imagination of not being able to see nature, landscape and - YES - the world in general in its full colors sounds kind of depressing to me. Even better that Enchroma has found a helpful solution for color-blindness and for people dealing with these issues. Of course, I have heard about people who are suffering from color-blindness before but I have not thought about the restrictions they might face in their daily life’s. Having difficulties in an everyday situation while driving a car and even worse - putting themselves and others in danger - is frightening. All the more I like the idea of Enchroma – Offering glasses which make it possible for color blind people to see the world in all its beauty in full colors.

Maximilian Lenhardt
08-05-2017 12:26

Just like my previous speakers, I think this is a very interesting topic. Helping color-blind people see colors without surgery but with glasses looking like normal sunglasses at a price of up to 429$ is amazing! Even normal glasses can easily be double the price! And I was also quite astonished that so many people suffer from color blindness. Not being able to see colors would be depressing in my opinion. Every day is just grey, all one can see are different intensities, and as mentioned by Moritz: one cannot appreciate for example paintings in galleries or museums. With those glasses, color blind people could enjoy their lives and the world a lot more. But I'm also interested in whether a completely color blind person would instantly see a result in terms of being able to see all colors? Or does it only work to a certain extend? Because I read that there are different types or intensities of color blindness, like not being able to differentiate red and green or having a red-gree deficiency, meaning one sees red and green as more or less grey. If EnChroma glasses can also help completely color blind people, this would really be a miracle innovation saving money and nerves, because people would not have to get a surgery to be able to see colors again.

Carolin Wolf
07-05-2017 16:16

Hey Lea, It was very interesting reading your blog entry. I wasn’t aware of the fact that one in twelve men and one in 200 women suffer from color blindness. I think that many people are ashamed due to their color blindness. As I was researching more about Enchroma, I think that because of its inconspicuous design, people do not have to be ashamed anymore. Color blind people got a chance to see colors as normal as non-color blinds do. This is, in my opinion, a great progress in our worldwide economy. I also think, that the price with a price range from 269$ to 429$ is quite affordable due to the fact that these kind of glasses work wonders.

Clara Brilmayer
06-05-2017 18:47

Interesting topic, I did not know much about the issue in general and first of all, that so many people are concerned by this disease. However, I always asked myself how people with red-green color-blindness are able to distinct the traffic lights and how much it limits and affects their daily-lives. As Lea confirmed, it might be even really dangerous for some to participate in traffic. The fact, that Enchroma glasses were discovered unintentionally and have the ablility to improve so many peoples lives', is just ingenious. Indeed, the glasses cannot get to the roots of the problem, but offer a great possibility to improve affected persons' daily-lives and protects them from potentially dangerous traffic-situations.

Jil Becker
06-05-2017 18:43

I cannot imagine life without colors, therefore, I think you are dealing with a very interesting topic! A child born with one of these color perception deficiencies has no way to tell the difference. Inconceivable, that there are a lot of people, who didn’t really notice the coloblindness in their childhood. After reading your blog I asked myself: are you able to see immediate results upon wearing the glasses? Moreover, does it take some time to get used to the glasses or is there a recommended amount of time per day to use them before you may see results? It sounds amazing to affected people to be able to distinguish a greater depth of field of colors than they ever have in the past.

Mona Anthes
05-05-2017 12:51

Suffering from color blindness is a condition no one can imagine. Being able to see the different colors and to live in such a colorful world is taken for granted from so many people but then there are so many people that are not able to enjoy the world in his entire beauty. Never being confronted with the problem of color blindness I have never thought about solutions for this condition. Now being aware of numbers and facts I find it great that a product that actually had a different use and then accidently discovered has such a beneficial function for lots of people suffering from color blindness every day. I can imagine that people concerned the price it definitely worth it.

Moritz Wellershaus
05-05-2017 12:51

How sad would it be to walk in a gallery full of colorful pictures, but you cannot see the tones since you are colorblind? I totally agree with Lea when she stated in her introduction, that people that can’t take part in the colorful world we live in must get the possibility to see the beauty of our earth. The Enchroma glasses, due to their accidental discovery, enhance seeing colors and I believe this is necessary for every person that does not see the red or green on the traffic light. With a price of $349 up to $429, or 320€ - 390€, the glasses are also quite affordable and are worth an investment. I even think health insurances should take over the cost, or at least partly contribute. Kids should definitely get a pair of glasses to not miss anything in their childhood and that they can be in art classes and enhance their creativity. This malfunction of the eyes limits life and makes it grey, dreary and challenging. So I think that Enchroma glasses are a great enrichment and opportunity to improve a colorless and restricted worldview.



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