Take a look at what all the stars wore on the red carpet at the Primetime Emmy Awards back in 2011.
Color blind glasses 101
Color blindness is a common eye condition affecting about 300 million people worldwide. But that doesn't mean all color blind people see the world in shades of gray.
"It's more of a color confusion," explains Kristyna Lensky Sipes, OD, an optometrist from Stanford Ranch Optometry in California. "Often, [people with the condition] see colors differently in more of a narrow spectrum."
What do people with color blindness see?
There are two main categories of color blindness.
"The most common form of color deficiency is red-green," says Robert Layman, OD, president of the American Optometric Association. This is especially true for males: Roughly one in 12 men, compared with one in 200 females, has some level of red-green color blindness, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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People with this condition fall into one of two camps:
protans, who confuse greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and browns
deutans, who have trouble telling the difference between reds, yellows, greens, and browns
Blue-yellow color blindness is much rarer, according to Dr. Layman.
People with this condition often confuse blues with greens and yellows with purples, but they may also have red-green color blindness. Unlike red-green color blindness, it affects men and women equally and occurs in about 1 in 10,000 people worldwide, per the NIH.
Why are some people color blind?
Genetics is responsible for most cases of color blindness, explains Dagny Zhu, MD, a board-certified ophthalmic surgeon at Hyperspeed LASIK in California.
It occurs thanks to a mutation in a gene on the X-chromosome that controls color vision. That's why men are far more likely to be affected by color blindness—people born as male have only one copy of this gene.
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"Because women have two X-chromosomes, a functioning gene on the second X-chromosome can make up for a mutated one," she says.
While it's less common, people can develop color blindness later in life, too. Dr. Zhu says that this acquired color blindness can occur due to very specific brain or eye injuries, some medications, and eye diseases like cataracts or macular degeneration.
What causes color blindness?
"Color blindness comes from a reduced sensitivity of the eye's light receptors: the cones in the back of the eye," Dr. Sipes says. These cones work to translate light for the brain so we can interpret which colors we see.
There are three types of cones responsible for detecting different wavelengths of light: red, green, and blue.
"Imagine the color spectrum of red, green, and blue as three hills separated by valleys," says Ian A. Ymalay, OD, an adjunct assistant professor of optometry for the Illinois College of Optometry and Clinical Preceptor for National Vision Inc.
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"Each hill represents a range of wavelengths for that particular color," he says. But color blind people have hills that aren't separated—instead, they overlap. That's what causes their confusion in color detection.
What's it like to be color blind?
Dr. Sipes says since most people with color blindness have the condition from birth, they generally learn to adapt to it independently.
"They might not see green the way you or I see green, but they still know a red apple from a green apple," she says. "They just see it differently."
Still, she says color blindness can complicate daily tasks or cause confusion for certain activities. As an example, she points to a kids' soccer coach with color blindness who struggled during a specific game. On the field, the lines on the green grass were drawn in red.
"He couldn't tell where things were in versus out," she says.
She adds that people with color blindness may face limitations in careers requiring full-color vision, like being an electrician or pilot.
Do color blindness glasses work?
While there's no cure for color blindness, special lenses may be able to help some people tell the difference between certain colors.
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Dr. Sipes says these lenses work by filtering or blocking specific wavelengths of light. This makes it easier for someone's faulty color cone to separate otherwise overlapping information, helping their eyes detect an object's true color.
But there are a few caveats to how well color blindness glasses will work.
They work best in bright light
"Outdoor lenses are far more successful and far more powerful than indoor lenses as far as a 'wow' factor for patients," Dr. Sipes says.
This is because brighter light allows for better wavelength separation as light passes through the glasses.
Results do vary
Dr. Zhu says it's important to understand what type of color deficiency you have—red-green versus blue-yellow—to ensure you find the right glasses for your needs. Even then, however, there's no guarantee they'll work for you.
"Because of the range of [color blindness] severity, these glasses might improve color perception for some individuals while others may not notice any discernible improvement," Dr. Ymalay explains.
They're not a cure
Users may be able to distinguish colors that were previously muddled—so the colors "pop" more—but the glasses do not restore true color vision, Dr. Ymalay says.
This means they come with some limitations, like:
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Users won't be able to pass a color vision test for jobs like piloting or firefighting.
Colors are more bright and vibrant but can still be a little "off," especially depending on the severity of someone's color deficiency.
They may affect the appearance of other colors.
"Typically, these glasses are good for patients who have 'activity-specific' needs," Dr. Layman explains.
For example, he says people working in the maritime industry would benefit from correctly identifying red and green marker buoys when going up rivers. The glasses could also be helpful in certain situations, like shopping for new clothes, reading color-coded charts and maps, or taking medication.
Don't wear them at night
"You need a lot of light for these [glasses] to work the way they should," Dr. Sipes says.
She explains that using these glasses at night isn't just less effective—it can be dangerous. Driving with them at night can cause more muddled vision and reduced contrast, making it difficult to see road signs and traffic signals properly.
They won't work for everyone
Color blindness glasses are not effective at all for people with complete color blindness, a condition known as monochromacy or achromatopsia.
People with this form of color deficiency can only see black, white, and shades of gray. It's pretty rare, however, affecting an estimated 1 in 30,000 people worldwide.
But they won't work for some people with red-green or blue-yellow color blindness, either.
While in most cases of color deficiency, an individual has all three types of cones in their eyes—one just isn't working properly—Dr. Zhu says some people are completely missing either the red, blue, or green cone. Color blindness glasses won't help under these circumstances.
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The best color blindness glasses
The first step to finding the right pair of color blindness glasses for you is a comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Layman says.
Your eye doctor can administer a simple test to determine which form of color deficiency you have, so you can choose lenses that target the right light wavelengths.
Enchroma color blind glasses work to increase color contrast for people with red-green color blindness. Dr. Sipes says that among her practice's patients, about four out of five people notice an impact in their color vision when wearing the lenses.
A 2020 study published in Current Biology found these Enchroma glasses may even help improve people's color perception.
"They believe that through repeated physical exposure to richer color information, it's possible to expand the visual processing center in the brain," Dr. Sipes says. While more research is necessary, this means it might be possible for people to better identify colors over time, even without the glasses.
While Enchroma glasses are some of the most expensive on the market, the brand does offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.
This pair of color blindness glasses from Pilestone is one of the only options available for people with blue-yellow color blindness, or tritan color blindness, a rarer form of color deficiency. The brand's blue-yellow lenses are for both indoor and outdoor use.
The coronavirus may live on certain surfaces for days
Covid-19 is still here. And a preliminary study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus can remain viable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel; though another study in the Journal of Hospital Infection comparing it to SARS and MERS found it may be able to live on glass, metal, and plastic for up to nine days. Bottom line: it's best to disinfect with the following cleaning products and these EPA-registered ones.
Head to your laundry room and grab that bottle of bleach, according to Consumer Reports. Bleach is a great defense against viruses, and it has been a long time cleaning staple in and outside the laundry room. Don't use it straight from the bottle though as that would be way too strong. Instead, mix a solution of ½ cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Use this to disinfect everything in your kitchen from the sink to the floor. You can even soak your child's toys in a bleach mixture of 2 teaspoons bleach to 1 gallon of water, soak for two minutes, then rinse. Make sure you wear gloves when you use the beach, as it can be irritating and drying for your hands. Lastly, don't keep the bleach solution for more than a few days, because bleach degrades some plastic containers.
Head to the medicine cabinet, this time. Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common hydrogen peroxide (it should say 3 percent on it) will deactivate the rhinovirus, which is what causes the common cold. Technically, it "produces destructive hydroxyl free radicals that can attack membrane lipids, DNA, and essential cell components." Since the rhinovirus is thought to be more difficult to ax than the coronavirus, it's believed that hydrogen peroxide will work for this as well. Simply pop it into a spray bottle and spray it onto a surface. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away.
Not to be confused with the alcohol you have in your bar closet, this is an alcohol solution with at least 70 percent alcohol. No need to dilute it, according to Consumer Reports. It's safe for cleaning every surface but beware of plastics, as it may cause discoloration. Try this bottle, which has more than 99 percent pure isopropyl alcohol.
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Soap and water
You've likely been hearing so much about this one already, hopefully, you still have some good ol' fashioned soap remaining. Wash your hands thoroughly, with warm water and soap for 20 seconds. Soap works better than disinfectants if you're attempting to destroy viruses, according to Marketwatch. It does this by dissolving the fat membrane so the virus becomes inactive. Yup, just your regular soap. Make sure you're using a clean towel to dry them. Does washing clothes with soap and water protect against coronavirus? What you need to know.
Contrary to popular social media opinion, homemade hand sanitizer may not work as well as your friends may have you believe. That's because the hand sanitizers you purchase in the store are correctly formulated with more science than simply mixing a little water, aloe, and essential oils, according to Consumer Reports. If you can't get your hands on the real stuff, then simply wash your hands with soap and water. Plus, regular hand sanitizer doesn't last as long as you think.
Pass on the vodka (for cleaning purposes, at least). While alcohol in the percentage range of Isopropyl will do the job nicely, vodka is no match for the coronavirus. Tito's Vodka even tweeted advice: "Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Tito's Handmade Vodka is 40 percent alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC." Next, check out our coronavirus cleaning guide.
The post 5 Color Blind Glasses That May Help Correct Your Vision appeared first on The Healthy.
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