Colorblindness Technologies

How Do Colorblindness Glasses Work? Whom Might They Help?

Genetic (if you are born with it) colorblindness is caused by an absence of, or problem in the function of, one or more of the three types of color-sensing cone photoreceptors in the retina. People who have difficulty detecting green light (deuteranomaly) or red light (protanomaly) experience an overlap between some of the light wavelengths that the brain interprets as red or green color which account for over 10% of the population to some degree.

“Colorblindness glasses are made with certain minerals to absorb and filter out some of the wavelengths between green and red that could confuse the brain to help the wearer process colors differently than without.

Some of the light coming through the glasses is blocked so that the remaining red and green light wavelengths don’t overlap as much. With less color overlap, the brain gets a clearer signal to help distinguish between the problem colors.

Colorblindness-correcting glasses will not change color perception for people whose deficiency is caused by a complete absence of red or green photoreceptors. And the positive effects of the glasses last only as long as they are being worn. The glasses don’t in any way modify a person’s photoreceptors, optic nerves or visual cortex to fix colorblindness.

Color perception requires a complete set of optimally functioning equipment, and glasses will not replace or repair missing or broken mechanisms.


Glasses change what the people who wear them see, enhancing the distinction between red and green. But the experience will vary widely among individuals, and colorblindness-correcting glasses don’t give people a true equivalent of natural color vision.

What to Consider Before Purchasing Colorblindness Glasses

Because they reduce the amount of light getting to the eye, it might not be a good idea to wear colorblindness-correcting glasses at night. Reducing the amount of light getting into the eye might especially be a problem for people who have other eye conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration. EnChroma, the manufacturer, warns against using the glasses while driving. The company offers an indoor collection that blocks less light, for lower-light conditions.

Cost is also a concern for the average consumer. These glasses may be a luxury item for many individuals, because they can cost several hundred dollars. It’s important for people to have realistic expectations of how much these glasses might or might not help them before they buy. Colorblindness-correcting glasses are generally not covered by insurance because colorblindness doesn’t affect a person’s health, so treatment isn’t medically necessary.

There are other devices designed to enhance contrast between colors!

inventors understood visual physiology, color deficiency, and had a thorough understanding of the physics of optics and optical filters. With that combined knowledge they were able to select rare earth minerals that exactly matched the filter restrictions needed to enrich the glasses to address this color deficiency. It’s an elegant meld of curiosity and education to address a problem.

Enchroma Glasses Alternatives

Cost of Color Blind Glasses