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The EnChroma Cx: Eyeglasses That Correct Color Blindness

 

Color blindness affects nearly 8 percent of men and .5 percent of women; some people don't even know they have it. Most color blindness is inherited, although there are several diseases and certain traumas that can cause it.  There is no cure or permanent correction of the condition currently available, but after 10 years of development, a company called EnChroma offers correction for the most common type, red-green color blindness.

Below is one of several styles of the new Enchroma Cx, the Apollo.


Enchroma Cx 'Apollo': image via enchromaEnchroma Cx 'Apollo': image via enchroma

 

In red-green color blindness, red and green bands of color 'overlap' in the brain so that shades of red and green are not accurately perceived.  Not only is such color-blindness a potential hazard, as well as a possible impediment to one's occupation, but it handicaps a rich experience of life, one that most of us enjoy through the world of 100,000 colors.  The color blind person may only perceive one-tenth of those colors.

The scientists at EnChroma have worked to enhance the experience of color and shades of color by interrupting and removing some of the shaded color wave lengths from the spectrum of light that enters your retina, thereby interrupting and reducing the amount of red-green overlap the wearer perceives. The image below shows how an outdoor scene might look to a color blind person without sunglasses, with regular sunglasses, and with the EnChroma Cx sunglasses.

 

What a colorblind person might see: image via enchromaWhat a colorblind person might see: image via enchroma

 

Yes, the EnChroma Cx is a type of sunglass, but one that enhances color, rather than dulls it.  While the EnChroma Cx is made strictly for people with color blindness (You can take a test here or download a free app here to test for color blindness.), the company makes a regular pair of sun glasses, the EnChroma UV450 Receptor, which blocks the sun's rays but also brightens your color experience.

The EnChroma Cx is meant to be used in outdoor light, but can function well with certain indoor lighting, such as florescent lighting. The Cx is different technologically than other sunglasses that proport to enhance color separation. The Cx is so sophisticated that it runs on the same equipment as is used to coat satellites and, in fact, the lenses are made by a defense contractor.  Thus, the price of the glasses is steep, but not steep enough to want to keep you from them if you are color blind.

You can learn more about the technology and find additional styles that may suit your taste at the company's website, EnChroma.com.  

 

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