Breakthrough: New lenses cure colour blindness
Scientists have developed glasses with purple-tinged lenses that enhance reds and greens, allowing those with the most common form of the condition to see them properly.
One tester of the Oxy-Iso lenses has told how he “shivered with excitement” after putting on the glasses for the first time. Dr Daniel Bor, an academic from the University of Sussex, said: “The main thing I have problems with is when people use red and green on graphs in seminars and I can’t tell the difference between them.
“And there’s my occasionally weird dress sense, which my wife puts me right on. But putting on the glasses for the first time was really quite an exciting moment. I was with my daughter in the gym and suddenly her lips stood out.
“She was wearing a red-orange jumper and suddenly it stood out from the surroundings.”
The glasses, which were originally developed for medical use, are the brainchild of US scientist Mark Changizi. The lenses filter out bands of light that interfere with the ability to distinguish various shades of red and green.
Dr Changizi, of Idaho firm 2AI Labs, said: “It makes it so they can suddenly see red-green differences in the world which were originally too small for them to notice.”
Wearing the glasses, Dr Bor managed to pass the colour blindness test used in schools around the world. However, they were not without their drawbacks. He said: “My daughter’s baby monitor has a yellow light on it and normally I can see that. But with the glasses on, it was completely invisible.
“Without the glasses, nothing is invisible. It was a bit disturbing that some things disappeared out of my vision.
“I wouldn’t wear them all the time but if I was going to an art gallery or a flower show, I’d take them with me. I’d really welcome them then.”
The glasses only work for red-green colour blindness. This is the most common form and although rare in women, it affects up to 8 per cent of men. You can pick up a pair on Amazon from $297.