Red-green color blindness is the most common form of color blindness. One in every 12 men with European ancestry reading this article are likely to have red-green color blindness, but only about 1 in 200 women, according to the National Eye Institute. The difference is because there’s something in the X chromosome that can cause color blindness, but it’s uncommon and it’s also cancelled out by another X chromosome without the anomaly. Since men have only one X chromosome, if it has the defect then they’re stuck. Women, however, have two X chromosomes so the odds are better that even if one has the issue, the other will override it, so they get a Win.
If you are red-green color blind, there are four different types, but for the most part colors that others see as red or green, you see as a shade of brown. There is no “cure” for color blindness, it’s about the way the cones in your eyes overlap and absorb light in different frequencies. You can, however, buy special glasses that separate light frequencies so you can see reds and greens more distinctly. EnChroma sells frames and lenses that correct for red-green color blindness by separating the frequencies. They’re not inexpensive, starting at $289, and most cost more than $400. However, the delight and amazement experience by the people in the company’s “first time user” videos are clearly apparent. The glasses are available with prescription with single vision, bifocal, or progressive lenses.
The first step if you think you may be color blind is to take the online test on the EnChroma website. It takes just a few minutes and is a standard test in which you identify numbers inside various color balls. The test correctly told me that while I am not red-green color blind, I do have the less common blue-yellow color blindness. EnChroma’s lenses do not correct my condition. According to the National Eye Institute, this type of color corrective lens works best in bright daylight.