How Do Glasses for Color Blindness Work?


Glasses for colorblindness work by blocking certain wavelengths in the color spectrum. This makes it easier for a person to distinguish between colors with anomalies in color vision.

In the picture below you can see how this works. Normally the retinal response activates two cones so the person looking perceives a mixture between the colors red and green. When it comes to abnormalities in color vision this oftentimes leads to confusion and some colorblindness can therefore not distinguish between the colors.

On the left side of the picture, you can see the areas where the light spectrum where the cones overlap in regards to their activation. On the right side, you can see an illustration of when glasses like enchroma are worn.

When a certain part of the light spectrum is blocked that led to the confusion it now makes it easier for a colorblind person to distinguish between the colors. The term colorblindness here is very broadly used.

What a lot of people need to know is those glasses for colorblindness only work when the colorblindness is not too severe. So most people that say they are colorblind are actually wrong because they can still perceive some colors. Read on for more information.

Do Color Blind Glasses Really Work?

Glasses for colorblind work when the eyes have the cones on your retina so they can be stimulated and produce the perception of color. Those glasses can not work when the colorblind person has monochromacy. In this case, the person sees everything in black, white, and grey.

As you saw in the picture illustration above it would not make much sense for a person with monochromacy to wear those lenses because the perception of the wavelength not being blocked is still grey black or white.

As you can see it really depends on the condition of the person wearing these glasses if they work or not. An interesting test if those glasses for colorblindness work or would be to make a color test with and without those glasses on.

This is exactly what you can find in the video below. Monochromacy is extremely rare in the population. Only one in 30000 persons have this eye condition. In the general public, 6.3% of men and 0.37% of women have anomalous trichromacy. Which means they have a harder time distinguishing between some colors. Mostly this is red and green.

In short, the probability is much higher if you for those glasses to work than not. Give them a try. Those glasses work for four out of five people with red and green color blindness. There are indoor versions and outdoor versions available.

There are several studies made that show those glasses can significantly reduce the errors made in the color tests Ishihara and Farnsworth. With the information above it should be not surprising that only those people that had problems distinguishing between red and green made the biggest improvements.

How Long Can You Wear Color Blind Glasses?

Glasses for colorblind can be worn the whole day. You can wear them indoors and outdoors so your perception of color vision can be enhanced throughout the day.

Can Color Blindness Be Corrected?

Colorblindness can be corrected to a certain extend which means distinguishing between colors could be easier for a person wearing glasses for colorblind.

However, a person that is colorblind and benefits from those glasses can not perceive colors exactly how a person without the abnormalities in color vision. Because as you saw in the illustration above a certain part of the wavelength gets blocked which leads to a perception of more hues.

In most cases the what gets corrected is distinguishing between a lot of objects that look yellow. Those can be seen then in green, red, and yellow tones. A lot of people see the color purple while wearing glasses for the colorblind. A lot of people wearing those glasses say their environment enhances the vibrancy and the saturation of colors.

This also leads to some positive side effects like improved depth perception and an easier perception of details.

What About the Price?

Prices for glasses for colorblindness range from 100 – 300$. Depending on the brand and the model you choose the costs will vary.

The manufacturer pilestone provides more of the less price intense options while the company enchroma provides more of the models in the 300$ range.

The Differences in Glasses for Colorblindness

Despite the price tag, you will notice a difference in the quality when it comes to enchroma and pilestone. Those are the two major brands. Pilestone being the cheaper version has no anti-reflective coating and a more dominant mirroring effect compared to the lenses from enchroma.

In addition to that, the frames from pilestone are also made in a very basic fashion. This means they are not so much on the durable side. Compared to this enchroma has definitely a higher built quality but also 3x the costs.

In terms of the perception of colors they can both work.

Are they available in your prescription?

Yes, glasses for colorblindness are also available in your prescription. The uncharge for the lens prescription is 150$ for single vision lenses with enchroma lenses.

I wish you a great day.

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