Color blindness is a term used to describe “Color Visual Deficiency” which affects an individual’s ability to accurately perceive color. Though it’s worth noting that different types of color blindness affect different people in different ways.
Red-Green Color Blindness
This is the most common type of color blindness that affects the individual’s ability to distinguish between various shades of red, and green as well as impacting their perception of various shades of yellow.
It’s also worth noting that Red-Green color blindness is typically a genetic condition that is carried on the X chromosome. It also tends to be more common in people with Northern European ancestry. It’s estimated that some 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of red-green color blindness.
Blue-Yellow Color Blindness
Also known as “Tritan Defects.” This is a much rarer type of color deficiency compared to Red-Green color blindness. Though it can potentially lead to trouble seeing different shades of blue, and black or green and black. Fortunately, Tritan Defects isn’t known to impact visual sharpness. Blue-Yellow color blindness statistically affects both men and women equally at a rate of about 1 in 10,000 people.
Blue Cone Monochromacy
This is a more serious form of color blindness, where the individual struggles to see any colors at all. It also tends to cause poor visual acuity, with symptoms like blurry or double vision. Individuals with Blue Cone Monochromacy visual deficiency often develop other vision conditions include things like light sensitivity nearsightedness and nystagmus.
Statistically, Blue Cone Monochromacy affects around 1 in 100,000 people develop blue cone monochromacy, and men tend to develop this condition more often than women.
Is a type of color blindness where the individual sees no color vision at all, and it is often accompanied by symptoms of blue cone monochromacy.
How Is Color Blindness Diagnosed?
Individuals with color blindness typically have it from birth or a very early age, and often don’t realize that they are color blind. Though there are certain eye conditions and genetic conditions that can cause color blindness to develop later in life.
Fortunately, a comprehensive eye exam includes basic diagnostics where special series of charts called pseudoisochromatic plates or charts are presented to the patient. Each one features a variety of dots in different color configurations representing basic numbers, letters, or recognizable shapes. This helps to assess the type and severity of Color Visual Deficiency, as part of developing an effective treatment plan.
How Is Color Blindness Treated?
While there isn’t a completely effective “Cure” for color blindness linked to genetics such as X-Chromosome-based Red-Green visual color deficiency, there are ways to help deal with the visual effect. There are also some types of color blindness caused by other factors such as or brain trauma, injury, or illness that can potentially improve the ability to accurately perceive color
One of the most effective methods is to use color-correcting glasses that can help filter the light that enters the eye. There are also some treatment plans where the individual with color blindness wears a red contact lens in one eye, which gradually helps the brain differentiate between colors. Though this option isn’t always effective.
Pilestone VS Enchroma : Different Brands & Types Of Color-Correcting Glasses
There are a few different types and brands of color-correcting glasses. Your eye doctor can help you determine the type that is best for your particular version of color blindness.
EnChroma Color Correcting Glasses
This is one of the more popular brands of color-correcting glasses. They are specially designed to directly treat symptoms of Red-Green color vision deficiency. They are means to impact the overlapping response to light in the photoreceptors within the eye. This is a type of special cells that are tightly clustered in the retina which respond to differences in light.
EnChroma color-correcting eyeglasses use proprietary optical materials that are designed to develop more accurate color perception by causing the photoreceptors to fire differently when light hits them. As time goes on the individual’s brain gets better and better at differentiating between the different wavelengths.
EnChroma color-correcting eyeglasses also help to heighten the contrast between different colors, so they can be perceived as different. Though some individuals find that it is harder to distinguish between subtle shades.
Pilestone Color Correcting Glasses
Pilestone color-correcting glasses started out as more of a trial pair of color-correcting eyeglasses to help an individual with color blindness to see if the glasses were right for them. Pilestone color-correcting eyeglasses tend to be more affordable than EnChroma, which makes them a favorable option for individuals with a limited budget or minimal insurance coverage for color blindness.
Though it’s also worth noting that Pilestone offers different models to address other types of color blindness than common Red-Green visual color deficiency. This includes color-correcting eyeglasses for blue-yellow color blindness. At the same time, many individuals with Red-Green color blindness also report that Pilestone color-correcting glasses provide noticeable and immediate improvements in their red-green deficiencies.
How Do Color Correcting Eyeglasses Work?
While there are certainly some proprietary materials and manufacturing techniques that Pilestone and EnChroma don’t want to reveal, their color-correcting lenses work on the same essential principle. Each uses special custom filters that effectively change the wavelength of the colors as they go into the visual perception cells of the eyes. This in turn influences how the individual’s brain perceives the signals coming from the affected photoreceptors.
It’s also worth noting that color-correcting glasses are only available by prescription and aren’t available at the retail level. Even if you suspect you are color blind, a knock-off pair of color correcting eyeglasses will likely have little effect as the prescription for the color-correcting lenses needs to be adjusted to your specific type and degree of color blindness.
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can help develop the best treatment plan to deal with your color blindness. The entire process starts with a comprehensive annual eye exam.