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Sunglasses that help with color blindness

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Color blindness is something that affects millions of people worldwide. Whilst it is often regarded as a minor issue, by those who don't suffer from the condition, it's seen as a disability by the majority of sufferers.

Well, there may be some very good news on the horizon for those who have color blindness -- or Color Vision Deficiency (CVD), to give it it's correct name. A California based company, EnChroma, has produced a pair of glasses (see above), which seem to give those with CVD, a more accurate image of the colors in the world around them.

Discovered by accident

The glasses are the brainchild of their inventor, Dr. Don McPherson. McPherson discovered the effect by accident; while designing eye-protection glasses for laser-surgeons. He just happened to give a pair of glasses with the lenses he'd been working on, to a color blind friend. The friend immediately noticed that he was able to see color in a totally different way, a way that the rest of us take for granted. He could see colors with the lenses, which were previously muted or muddled. That was the inspiration for Dr. McPherson to take his research into a different direction, which resulted in EnChroma's CVD glasses.

A couple of interesting facts about CVD:

  1. Color blindness is a common condition in certain countries. For example, in people of Northern European descent, up to 8% of men and .5% of women having the condition. 
  2. In some countries, such as Romania, CVD people are banned from driving because the government believes it's dangerous for drivers to be unable to know the color of certain road signs.

It's always great to see new developments, which help improve the quality of life for people with any form of disability. My father was color blind and I know it stopped him from being able to experience the world around him, the way most of us take for granted.

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