Colour Blindness Glasses: EnChroma Glasses

Ask the Optician

By Emma Moletto
Reviewed by Sharlene McKeeman FBDO
Sharlene is a qualified dispensing optician with over 7 years optical experience, a member of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and registered with the General Optical Council.
Colour blindness is a type of vision deficiency which affects the way people perceive colours. There are different types of colour blindness and different options to correct it.

Did you know that humans are born completely colour-blind? Then by the age of 6 months, they should be able to see the full-colour spectrum. In some cases, though, this ability doesn’t fully develop due to genetics, resulting in colour blindness. This colour vision deficiency can also happen due to damage to the eye or brain.

Fortunately, colour vision technology has improved enormously in the past years. EnChroma colourblindness glasses are revolutionary in helping people see a larger spectrum of bright, crisp tints and shades. 

Read on to learn more about colour blindness and how EnChroma glasses work. Please keep in mind that this article is purely informative, as we do not sell EnChroma or any other type of colour-blindness eyeglasses at SmartBuyGlasses.

What are the types of colour blindness?

White light is actually made up of the different colours of the rainbow. When it enters the eye, three different parts of the visible spectrum are recognised: blue, green and red.

These colours are picked up by colour-sensitive photoreceptors found within photopigments (pigments that react to light, contained in nerve cells in the retina). When these receptors do not function efficiently, a colour vision deficiency occurs.

Colourblindness includes:

  • Red-green colourblindness (deuteranomaly or deuteranopia)
  • Blue-yellow colourblindness (tritanomaly or tritanopia)
  • Complete colour blindness (monochromacy)

Red-green colour blinding is caused by being unable to differentiate between red and green colours. It is the most common type of colour blindness. Blue-yellow colour blindness is caused by the ability to distinguish between blue and white. In the worst cases, the various shades of a hue can be reduced by up to 90%.

To determine if you are colour-blind, take this quick and easy online test here. We recommend visiting a qualified eye care professional for more accurate results, especially for kids.

What are EnChroma glasses?

EnChroma glasses are lenses specifically engineered to help correct colour blindness. The colour-blind glasses allow them to see a broader spectrum of bright colours. This innovation has been proven to help 80% of people with a lack of colour perception. 

They are made of an EnChroma lens technology with a patented light filter. This is applied incredibly carefully and primarily targets red-green vision deficiency, which is the most common kind.

It is worth noting that EnChroma lenses are not a cure for colour blindness. An eye exam from a professional optician is required to establish whether it is possible to have the condition treated.

Who are EnChroma glasses for?

Red-green colour deficiency is the most frequently found form of the condition. It affects just under 5% of the global population, representing about 350 million people. However, men are more likely to suffer from colour blindness than women. 

It is estimated that around one in twelve men experience difficulties distinguishing red from green, compared to just one in 200 women. This is caused by how our genetics work, with the genes for colour blindness appearing on the X-chromosome. Consequently, the condition is passed on by women but rarely affects them.

As for colour blindness between blue and yellow, this is thought to affect a similar number of people worldwide as red-green colour blindness. However, rather than occurring at birth, this condition tends to worsen over time. As a result, the number of cases of blue-yellow blindness is increasing because of our ageing population. 

Other types of colour blindness do exist, but they are so rare that they only impact 1 in 2000 people. Nevertheless, this can vary between different subpopulations. 

As red-green colour blindness is experienced on the largest scale, this is what is targeted by EnChroma glasses.

EnChroma glasses target mainly red-green colour deficiency, as it is the most frequently found form of color blindness. It affects just under 5% of the global population, representing about 350 million people.

How do colourblind glasses work?

The EnChroma lens was initially developed by a glass scientist in the early 2000s (National Institutes of Health, 2020). The technology was supposedly discovered by accident and has undergone intense clinical research for over a decade.

It works by filtering out light wavelengths at the exact spot where the colour receptors overlap. The two photoreceptors are changed to increase differentiation between colours along the line of confusion for that person’s eyes. 

It is worth considering that less light is permitted to enter the eye as part of the process. As a consequence, it is not advisable to wear such lenses at night. Users are also warned not to wear them while driving for safety reasons.

Do EnChroma glasses really work?

EnChroma glasses* aim to support four out of five cases of red-green colour blindness. It cannot guarantee a 100% success rate because there are different levels of severity for colour blindness, ranging from mild to severe. 

In strong cases, the colourblind person will achieve limited results from EnChroma glasses owing to their complete lack of colour vision. However, most people with red-green colour blindness will be able to see much brighter, vibrant colours while wearing the glasses.

Extra features

EnChroma glasses don’t just solve colour blindness; they also offer other perks. One example is that they ensure 100% protection from the sun’s UV rays. In addition, the lenses are oleophobic and hydrophobic. This means that the surface repels dust, water and sweat, making them very easy to clean.

benefits of enchroma glasses
benefits of enchroma glasses

Colour-blind contact lenses

An excellent alternative to EnChroma glasses is wearing contact lenses. Some well-known brands are:

  • ColorMax, developed by Dr Thomas Azman. This brand’s colour correction system can be applied to both glasses and contacts.
  • Chroma-Gen, which the Brits invented. It offers contacts and glasses and claims to correct more than just red and green colour deficiencies, with 8 colour tints on offer. An extra benefit of ChromaGen is that the lenses can also support those with dyslexia, as the colour tints help clarify the words on the page.

Colour blindness possible solutions

Colour blindness is the inability of the eye to see the colours clearly. To correct this vision deficiency, there are a few options available.

EnChroma glasses* are one of the best solutions for people suffering from red-green colour blindness, but there are also great contact lenses available such as the ColorMax and Chroma-Gen ones. These all use innovative technology to help people see colours correctly.

Make sure to choose the best colourblind glasses or contact lenses only after adequate research and a consultation with your healthcare provider. You can also contact our online certified opticians for free advice on anything related to glasses and vision health.

*SmartBuyGlasses does not sell EnChroma glasses.

Reference list

National Institutes of Health. (2020, February 12). Accidental Discovery Leads to Glasses for the Color Blind. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved April 14, 2023, from 

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