For the average individual, understanding the impact that colorblindness can have on someone’s life is hard to imagine. After all, once you’ve seen all the colors of the rainbow, how can you imagine that rainbow existing without one or two of those colors?
A healthy human eye is capable of processing some 10 million different colors. But for those afflicted with colorblindness, some colors are as hard to grasp as a handful of fog. There are three kinds of colorblindness: red-green colorblindness, blue-yellow colorblindness, and the incredibly rare condition known as total color blindness where there is a complete absence of color differentiation.
Colorblindness can be present at birth or can develop over time. While the defect may be inherited, physical or chemical damage to the eye or parts of the brain that process information such as colors can easily cause colorblindness. Some develop colorblindness as part of the aging process, usually due to cataracts.
No matter what the cause, colorblindness can affect life in so many frustrating ways. Everything from understanding a colored graph and interpreting the different colored lights at an intersection to judging how well a piece of meat is cooked based on color would be impossible tasks for those of us who rely so much on our ability to see colors.
For those who are born colorblind, they have never seen certain colors. In fact, many of these individuals spend years – even decades – of their life not knowing that their vision is any different from anyone else’s. Which is surprising when you realize how prevalent the condition is. As many as 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are affected by some form of colorblindness.
That’s why companies like EnChroma and Pilestone have invested in creating glasses that will allow colorblind individuals to see those colors that have alluded them for so long.
Thanks to this innovative technology, those suffering from red-green colorblindness – the most common type of colorblindness – are able to see the world in full color for the first time ever. It might not seem like much, but it’s easy to see from the delighted squeals and tears of joy that burst forth when these people see real color for the first time that this is a big deal.
Research surrounding colorblindness is ongoing, and there is currently no cure. But now, for the first time, people around the world that have never experienced life in full color now have the chance to take it all in.