If you are color blind, you probably wish that you can see the world the way that your friends and family see it. Color blindness can negatively interfere with your life and even restrict your choice of careers, but thanks to contact lens technology, you just might have the chance to see the world in all of its colors.
What is Color Blindness?
Many people think that a colorblind person can only see shades of black, white, and gray. Actually, this form of color blindness—called monochromacy—is extremely rare. The grand majority of color blind people have difficulty seeing shades of red, green, or blue.
Your eye has three types of cone cells that let you perceive colors. These three cone types are red, green, and blue. If you have fewer or no cone cells of one color, say red, you will have a harder time detecting hues of that color.
What Causes Color Blindness?
While disease, medications, and injury can bring about color blindness, a person's genetics are the most likely cause of color blindness. Men are much more likely to be color blind than women because of the way the gene passes from parent to child. As a matter of fact, one in ten American men inherit the form of colorblindness that makes differentiating red and green hues challenging.
Is There a Cure for Color Blindness?
For people with acquired color blindness, treatment options are available that can mitigate the symptoms. There is no cure for inherited color blindness. For decades, color blind people had to cope with this genetic disorder and its frustrating impact on learning, working, and enjoying life.
Living a Colorful Life
For people with inherited color blindness, all hope is not lost. Tinted glasses have proven successful in helping colorblind people see colors they were previously unable to decipher; the tint makes up for the absence of the cone cells responsible for the color blindness.
At the turn of the century, scientists made huge strides in the optical world when they revealed tinted contact lenses designed to correct color blindness. Lenses were created in seven different hues and in three different densities so that they could help people with any color blindness type and with varying degrees of cone cell absence. Color blind-correcting contact lenses are rapidly improving in quality and affordability. Even professional athletes are turning to corrective lenses to improve their performances.
Color blind patients report mixed feelings about these lenses; some people swear that the lenses are life-changing, but others are not so quick to give the lenses glowing recommendations. If you have worn contact lenses for other vision problems, consider how you felt about your prescription. If you are queasy about putting lenses in your eyes or do not think that you will clean and care for them appropriately, then tinted lenses may not be for you. On the other hand, if you are willing to try color blind-correcting tinted lenses, you might see a whole new, fascinating world.