Have you heard of Enchroma glasses? If you don’t know them by name, you’ve probably seen a video of a person trying on a pair and being brought to tears. These glasses are meant to help color blind individuals enhance their ability to differentiate between colors. Meaning, they don’t cure color blindness, but they can allow an individual to see a more accurate range of colors.
Enchroma makes three different kinds of lenses. Two are designed for outdoor wear, and one is designed for indoor use. We recently received a pair of these glasses with the indoor lenses, and if you are colorblind they are available for you to try on while you shop.
I’m colorblind myself, and I know it can sometimes be hard to shop not knowing what color something actually is. For instance, I needed a specific color shirt for my brother’s wedding, and I had to send pictures of each shirt I thought was close to his fiancee (now wife) for confirmation that it was the right color. I went through quite a few shirts before finding one that was the right shade of red.
Color blindness is not a singular condition. There are numerous kinds of color blindness with varying intensities. Enchroma’s color blind test labeled me as a “strong protan.” According to their website, “Protans are people with protanomaly, a type of red-green color blindness in which the red cones do not detect enough red and are too sensitive to greens, yellows, and oranges. As a result, greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and browns may appear similar, especially in low light. It can also be difficult to tell the difference between blues and purples, or pinks and grays. Red and black might be hard to tell apart, especially when red text is against a black background.” A lot of that is true for me. I always had to read the label on blue and purple crayons as a kid, and I could never find the orange jack in the grass while playing bocce ball. I’ve worn the glasses around the gallery a couple of times, and while they haven’t brought tears to my eyes, I have noticed a difference. Greens were more vibrant and blues and purples were easier to distinguish. One of Enchroma’s outdoor lens variants is designed specifically for strong protan color blindness, and I would be very interested in trying on a pair of those to see how it changes what I see.
Every color blind person is going to react differently to these glasses. Even though they didn’t make a huge difference for me, they might for you.
So, if you are looking to buy a gift for somebody in a certain color and you are color blind, come out to the gallery and take a look around with our Enchroma glasses on. It could make finding that perfect gift a little bit easier.