EnChroma glasses are something new, something exciting, and something that might revolutionize the way you see life. For those who are colorblind, you'll be able to literally see a change in the world with EnChroma's new technology. Let's take a look at how this breakthrough is changing how colorblind individuals are seeing life.
What Are EnChroma Glasses?
EnChroma glasses are an exciting, cutting-edge technology that allows those who have certain forms of color blindness, such as protan and duetan, to correctly see certain colors and differentiate between certain shades of color. EnChroma glasses look like any modern stylish pair of sunglasses would look; however, such superficial similarities end right there.
The EnChroma lenses perform a feat of science and physics that no other glasses on the planet have been capable of performing until now. The materials and science that make these glasses possible and the results achievable is a remarkable feat of engineering prowess.
How Did EnChroma Glasses Come to Be?
This creation is the brainchild of Dr. Don McPherson, a man with a PhD in glass science. Like many great discoveries through the ages, he was looking for one thing but found another. Dr. McPherson was diligently working on a set of prototype glasses he hoped would be a new form of eye protection for surgeons working with and around lasers.
Fortuitously for those with red-green color blindness, Dr. McPherson's accidental discovery was nothing short of revolutionary. He let a friend try on the protective glasses he was developing. His friend was color blind, and as soon as he put on the glasses, he realized he could see certain colors he had never experienced before. This lead to funding, which lead to further research and development. With the help of one of his research assistants, Andrew Schmeder, Dr. McPherson launched EnChroma in 2010.
What Do EnChroma Glasses Have to Offer Today?
In 2012, EnChroma brought its first pair of glasses to the marketplace. Today, they offer more than 17 different styles for a wide range of activities, including indoor and outdoor use, and a line of glasses just for kids. Within those categories are many different frames, all of which are designed to be stylish, good looking, functional, and fashionable.
Their outdoor selection of frames is designed for bright outdoor sun and maximization of color. They are perfect for Deutan or Protan color blindness and include 100% UV Protection plus an anti-reflective coating. They are available with prescription and non-prescription lenses.
Their indoor selection of frames is designed for color vision in lower light conditions. Like the outdoor glasses, these option include100% UV Protection plus an anti-reflective coating. They are also available in prescription and non-prescription lenses.
Their indoor and outdoor glasses for children are designed with smaller faces in mind yet with the same EnChroma lens technology designed to maximize color enhancement and hue. Every EnChroma lens is impact- and scratch-resistant with 100% UV Protection plus anti-reflective coating. They are also available in prescription strength.
How Do EnChroma Glasses Work?
To understand how EnChroma glasses allow people to see color, we must delve a bit into biology and a bit into physics.
About one in twelve men and around one in 200 women have some form of color blindness. Protan and Deutan forms are the most common, and they refer to the colors of red and green, respectively. The term red/green color blindness is generally used due to most people having varying degrees of both protan and deutan color blindness.
Most color blindness is related to genetics and is passed from one generation to the next. The most frequent cause of color blindness, also known as "color vision deficiency," is a congenital issue regarding the development of one or more of the color sensing cones in the eye. Males are more likely to have this deficiency than females, as the genes responsible most often reside on the X chromosome. Since females have two X chromosomes, a defect on one can be compensated for by the other.
Those genetics determine a number of things about your eye, including the rods and cones which reside on and about the retina. While rods react to all light, cones only respond to their specific wavelength. These cones are focused on one of three different wavelengths: red, blue, and green. When the signals from these three different cones overlap, the result is the inability to tell the difference between colors or shades of colors. In most cases, this overlap affects the ability to see red and green. This, fortunately, is the type of color blindness which EnChroma glasses are able to address and significantly rectify.
Color vision deficiency does not mean that you do not see color at all. Rather, the spectrum of the color you experience is drastically diminished. This is especially true in low light or where color shades are very close to each other on the color spectrum.
When first designing their initial product, EnChroma used computer simulations and complex modeling to predict and correct the ways people with red/green color blindness perceive colors. The end result is a specialized lens that is able to filter specific colors.
That filtering cuts the sharper wavelengths of light to enhance red and green colors and reveal the true hues and shades of the colors seen. The lenses separate the overlapping red and green wavelengths which then provides the correct balance between the signals from the three photo-pigments. This allows the eye to see the correct and true perception of the colors, shades, and hues.
Will EnChroma Glasses Work for Me?
Statistics show approximately 80 percent of those with partial color blindness, also known as trichromacy, can be helped with EnChroma optical lenses. The odds of a favorable result are high, and considering the generous return policy, there's very little reason not to try the glasses for yourself.
Where Can I Find EnChroma Glasses?
EnChroma glasses are available online and from EnChroma Retailers across the United States and Canada.
Are Prescription EnChroma Glasses Available?
Prescriptions are available at a premium, and glasses can be made that accommodate most prescriptions. The materials used in the construction of prescription EnChroma glasses is the same high-quality advanced materials as those used in regular EnChroma products. Prescription lenses carry the same guarantee as regular lenses, including the 60-day money-back guarantee and two year warranty. The average processing time typically takes four to six weeks.
What Can I Expect When I Wear EnChroma Glasses?
One of the most interesting and exciting things about these glasses are the reactions elicited from those using them for the first time. The typical "first wear" includes amazement at the vibrancy of the colors, shock at how the colors of the real world appear, and happiness and even tears. The sensations experienced go beyond mere sight.
Are There Any Downsides to EnChroma Glasses?
It is important to remember that EnChroma glasses are not a cure for color blindness, nor are they a treatment for it. They are an appliance that mitigates the effect of the condition, but the amount or type of correction still may not be acceptable to some tasks and jobs, especially those involving public transportation or operation of airplanes, ships, heavy equipment and so forth.
That being said, the technology is so new that acceptance may take some time. Laws and policies may need updating, and further testing will be needed before guidelines are established for EnChroma use. There is still some question as to whether or not these glasses will be permitted in some public safety jobs such as law enforcement and firefighting where the ability to pass a color vision test is often a condition of employment.
What Is the Primary Upside to EnChroma Glasses?
The true upside of EnChroma lies in its ability to reveal the vibrancy and striking luster of a world hidden to so many. For the first time in human history, the entire spectrum of color can be accessed and enjoyed in spite of any red/green color vision deficiency. Driving, hiking, sightseeing, and most any activity can be enhanced when your vision allows you to see the true range of colors available through the used of EnChroma frames and optics.
EnChroma glasses are truly a unique and exciting product. Their use ranges from idle curiosity of those with color blindness to an absolute necessity mandated by employers where the ability to correct or partially correct color blindness may be a condition of employment. If you suspect you are color blind or if you want to know the extent or type of color blindness you have, a simple online Color Blind Test can give you enough information to determine if EnChroma glasses can help your particular condition.
This technology may be a boon to those seeking certain jobs they would have been precluded from prior to this product becoming available. EnChroma glasses are truly revolutionary and the full range of the applications for their use is yet to be written.