Color blindness contacts: what to know
Color blindness is a condition in which the brain is unable to distinguish between certain colors, thus resulting in a “blindness” for some colors. More accurately referred to as color deficiency, it is an inherited condition that affects the way some light-sensitive cells, called cone cells, in the retina respond to different wavelengths of light. Cone cells allow us to distinguish colors by reacting with different wavelengths of light, sending signals that are interpreted by the brain.
Color blindness occurs when there is an absence of color cones or color cones that don’t react normally to certain wavelengths of light. As a result, it becomes more difficult for us to distinguish different colors. Severity of color deficiency can range from mild to a complete absence of cone cells.
More mild cases of color deficiency are most common and occur when cone cells detect a different color than normal. Most commonly, people with color vision deficiency have difficulty distinguishing between red and green, or yellow and blue, though in some cases they may not be able to see any colors at all.
On average, men are more likely to be born with color blindness than women. The American Association of Ophthalmologists estimates that one in ten males has some form of color deficiency, whereas women are rarely born with color deficiency. Color deficiency is most common among men of Northern European descent.
Although color blindness lenses cannot cure the condition, they can help treat the symptoms and help the brain to better distinguish between the different colors.
What are color blindness contact lenses?
Color deficiency contact lenses, though not yet widely available, may present a solution to color vision deficiency. These lenses are still in a developmental phase, though initial findings are promising. Recent studies have found that using light filtering lenses helps some people to better distinguish between colors.
Some color tinted glasses have been developed, which have been proven to help those with color vision deficiency to recognize different colors, though they are not designed for everyday use and are generally not prescription glasses designed to correct other visual impairments. The lenses help the brain to better distinguish red and green colors by blocking out some overlapping light wavelengths so the brain has less difficulty in making the distinction between them. With less overlap, the signal that gets sent to the brain is clearer, helping to correct the issue.
Can everyone get color blind contacts?
In general, contact lenses are widely available today for almost all types of vision impairments, and are easily accessible with a prescription, especially considering how easy it is to order online contacts. You can even renew your contacts prescription from home with ContactsDirect through its contacts prescription renewal online assessment.
However, as for contact lenses for color blindness correction, they are still largely in the stage of research and development, though initial results seem to offer positive prospects. However, since the degree of colorblindness can vary significantly from person to person, the effectiveness of lenses will vary.
Because of these complications, color vision deficiency correcting contact lenses are not yet widely available.