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Enchroma: Bringing Colors to the Color Blind People

Enchroma: Bringing Colors to the Color Blind People

One out of every ten persons in the world is suffering from color blindness. Color blindness is a disease in which a person feels difficulty to differentiate between colors or has inability to see colors. Color blind people face difficulty in various fields of life from daily simple chores like buying fruits and vegetables to complicated tasks like learning and education. Due to color blindness, people are disqualified for various types of jobs as well, such as, pilot, military, etc.

Colors

The retina contains approximately 6 million retinal cone cells. Each cell is ‘color specific,’ responding mainly to light of specific frequencies. The three different types of cone cells correspond to the three primary colors: red, green and blue.

Color blindness is mainly due to a genetic fault in which the color cone cells of eye that are basically the photoreceptors are not properly developed. The other reason of color blindness is accidental damage to the optical nerve, eye, or brain. The possibility of color blindness in males is much higher than females as the genes that cause color blindness are carried by X chromosomes. As the females have two X chromosomes as compared to males who have one, therefore in females, the defect in one X chromosome is often compensated by the other. The most common type of color blindness is red-green color blindness in which a person is either unable to differentiate or totally unable to see these colors.

Color blindness is an incurable disease.  Enchroma Inc., a US based company, has recently launched its product Enchroma glasses that are claimed to enable color blind people to see colors. The company claims that its product lessens the color blindness of people that are suffering from red-green color blindness.  The product is an outcome of a lens model developed by Enchroma Inc. that is capable of simulating various colors and  level of color vision deficiency.

Color Blind

A simulation from the Neitz lab of what colorblindness looks like, with normal color vision on the left and red-green colorblindness on the right.

 

The model links the genetics of color blindness to the different abnormalities associated with the photopigments in order to check the perception of color blind people for different colors.  Enchroma Inc. has developed a customized filter that is used to focus particular photopigments. It employs a multi-notch filtering technique to filter out sharp wavelength of light in order to improve visibility of particular colors. The lensed used in Enchroma glasses have capability to separate the spectra of red and green cone cells thus improving the capability of people suffering from red-green color blindness to differentiate between red and green colors.

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