The world doesn’t look the same for colorblind people as it does to their friends and family. Three men who are colorblind are hoping all that will change thanks to a special pair of glasses.
Dr. Eric Oberdorf’s office, Stonehenge Vision Source, is the first in North Carolina to offer the EnChroma glasses. They allow people who are colorblind to see the world more vividly.
“The great thing is, it’s not surgery. It’s not something so dramatic. It’s putting on a pair of glasses and hopefully opening a new world,” said 51-year-old Mark Roberts.
Roberts, a graphic designer and DJ, has been colorblind as long as he can remember.
“In elementary school, I used to dread coloring books. I used to always want to have the crayons not with the paper torn off so I could see which one was purple because I would always paint the sky purple,” Roberts said.
Student Adam Geringer didn’t realize he couldn’t see color properly until taking a color blindness test during summer camp for aspiring pilots. The now 19-year-old was 11 at the time.
“They said you can’t become a commercial pilot,” Geringer said. “I was very disappointed. My entire life up to that point I wanted to be a pilot.”
Medical resident Thai Truong said being color blind makes it hard for him to distinguish reds and greens.
“Sometimes when people come in the clinic, I have my attending physician who is there. He’s like ‘oh there is a really subtle redness there.’ I just have to stand there for a while just to really see,” he said.
Oberdorf said one in 12 men and one in 200 women have a color vision deficiency.
“Something as simple as going to the grocery store and picking out bananas; are they ripe? Are they ready to eat? What kind of apples do I want to have this week? Patients with color deficiencies often can’t do those simple tasks,” said Oberdorf.
On Friday, Roberts, Geringer, and Truong each received a pair of indoor and outdoor EnChroma glasses.
“I hope to see what it is like that other people see; to visualize the world in a way that I haven’t been able to before,” Truong said.
For each, the reaction was instant.
“The colors definitely look vibrant. It’s almost like watching a 2D movie and all the sudden they turn the switch and it’s a 3D movie. Everything pops,” Roberts said while wearing the glasses.
The men said colors that were normally dull, washed out, or indistinguishable became vivid with the glasses on. All three marveled over red and orange flowers planted outside Oberdorf’s office.
“These are vibrant colors I haven’t seen before,” Truong said.
“It’s going to take a lot getting used to. Especially looking at people. People have so much color,” Roberts said. “It’s amazing.”
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