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Color Blind Glasses

August 1, 2018

New eyeglasses can reduce color blindness.


For color blind people, reds and greens disappear from the spectrum. (Artie Navarre/Pixabay)

For people with color blindness, reds and greens disappear from the spectrum. (Artie Navarre/Pixabay)


An inventor fills in missing colors. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Red-green color blindness affects about 350 million people worldwide, making it difficult for them to tell colors apart. While producing protective eye-wear for surgeons performing laser surgery, materials engineer Donald McPherson found that notching out certain wavelengths of light improved people’s ability to distinguish colors– even people who were color blind. He says it works by removing color information that’s confusing.


And they go, oh my god, it’s red and it’s green, because now they’re getting the correct ratios when they see how much red minus how much green.


McPherson founded the company EnChroma to refine and sell the eyeglasses. Recently, he was named a AAAS Lemelson Invention Ambassador, charged with helping others become inventors, and turn their own new ideas into products. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon