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Health Team

New glasses provide hope for people with color blindness

Posted June 12, 2018 6:50 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:14 a.m. EDT

Most people take their ability to see and recognize colors for granted, but, for people with color blindness, it's a constant struggle.

According to WRAL's Dr. Allen Mask, special glasses for these people may reveal a new world of vibrant color.

Mark Roberts, a 51-year-old graphic artist, Adam Geringer, a 19-year-old N.C. State student and 27-year-old UNC medical student Thai Truong are all color blind. The colorful world most people enjoy is not as impressive to them. "When I drive up in the mountains during the fall, it's just not all that," said Roberts.

To them, a green traffic light is hard to see. "I'll be like, 'That's definitely green,'" said Truong. "My friends are like, 'No man, that's definitely red.'"

The three all have "color vision deficiencies," which affect 1 out of 12 males and 1 out of 200 females. Stonehenge Vision Source optometrist Dr. Eric Oberdorf says tests can reveal which colors confuse you.

"Color blindness is an overlap of photo pigments in the retina," he said. "The red and green photo pigments are the most commonly affected causing those colors to appear indistinct or washed out."

New glasses provide hope for people with color blindness

Oberdorf's office is the first in the state to offer help with EnChroma, or tinted glasses which selectively filter areas where pigments overlap.

When the three men tried them on, the world looked different.

Reds are red, and greens are now green.

"The colors are deeper and richer," said Truong.

Dr. Oberdorf says the glasses, which start at $350, work favorably for about 80 percent of people with color vision deficiencies.