Revolutionary – here are the first color-blind glasses
Good news for color blind people. They may be only steps away from getting the glasses that may improve their vision and help them see the world as it is. Human vision is based on cone cells—special light-sensitive nerve cells found in the eye. There are about six million cone cells in the eye that are divided into three types, which correspond to the three primary colors: red, green and blue. Color perception occurs by comparing the relative stimulation of the three types of cone cells. Red-green color blindness in caused by a genetic defect carried on the X-chromosome. The condition affects 1 in 12 males (8%) and 1 in 200 females (0.4%).
1 First impression
Oxy-Iso glasses were made for medical purposes, but incidentally, they turned out very helpful for colorblind people. They are purple and would of course give purple tone to everything around you, which may be a bit annoying if your vision is good. But with time the eyes can get used to them. The glasses are giving brighter tones, especially to the red color, which is getting a more orange tint. Greens get a bit darker, but they remain distinctly green.
2 And then the magic happens
These glasses aren’t going to magically cure the color blindness, but will, in fact emphasize, the tones of the colors which will help a colorblind person to see the shades of greens, reds and blues and they would be able to get the actual difference. A color blind person who used these glasses claims that he didn’t feel like he saw more color, but the glasses seems to make the difference between certain colors bigger. Also, he took the Ishihara test (numbers are printed with different colored bubbles and for color blind people, it is very hard to make the distinction and see the actual number on the picture) with and without the glasses and immediately spotted the difference. He said that he spotted the number on the picture.
3 The evolution of color vision
The Oxy-Iso glasses are a little miracle which is the result of the evolutionary theories of Mark Changizi, a theoretical neurobiologist and director of human cognition at 2AI Labs. He has observed how humans and certain other primates have evolved the unique ability to see red-green colors. Most mammals lack the ability to see red-green color and by Changizi’s theory, red-green color vision evolved to help the social life of primates such as humans. Oxygen levels in blood can change skin color between red and green, whereas control over the amount of blood in the skin can make the color shift between yellow and blue. Together, they can transmit a wide array of social signals. When human’s face goes red it can signal anger or it may indicate embarrassment; yellow suggests fear or sickness.
4 Available online
These glasses are available online and aren’t insanely expensive. They will provide correction for red-green. Also, the glasses are helpful for red-green colorblindness as they can enhance the oxygenation signal, which red-green color vision is designed to see. The lenses have Anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings and aren’t heavy when worn for a long time (this is especially important for color blind people who may wear them at least during their working hours). The frames are fully adjustable and quite comfortable. O2Amp technology is passive, and does not provide its own light so good lighting (natural light) is crucial to its function. A head lamp (at least 60 lumens) is recommended for clinical settings.
5 Colorblind Artist tested the glasses
Being a color blind artist is probably beyond difficult, that is why the London based artist Adam Fenton was asked to do the ultimate test of these glasses. Fenton realized that the glasses highlighted reddish and orangish colors in a way that made the world look surreal in his eyes (pretty much the same reaction as all color blind people who have put the glasses for the first time). He noticed that London’s double-decker buses glowed “radioactively” as they were passing in front of his eyes. His own skin appeared as an unnatural orange. Fenton said that wearing the color blind glasses seemed like wearing old 3D glasses where everything is one color, but red and other warm colors got special accent.