Enchroma glasses were designed to improve color vision among color-blind individuals. The putative aid of such optic filters in alleviating color blindness remains to be demonstrated. Our study shows that the beneficial impacts on color discrimination are quite small in comparison to the undesirable effects.
Congenital color blindness is a common genetic anomaly, and there is still no effective aid for affected people. Enchroma glasses are selective filters designed to enhance color discrimination among red-green color-blind individuals. However, there is a lack of data supporting their efficiency. The present study aimed to characterize the effect of Enchroma filters on color discrimination.
Colorimetric coordinates of figures from a pseudoisochromatic (American Optical Hardy-Rand-Rittler [AO H-R-R]) test were measured. Nine color-blind and five control adult participants performed the AO H-R-R test and a color-naming task using monochromatic stimuli. All data were collected with and without Enchroma filters.
Colorimetric coordinates of AO H-R-R figures were shifted out of their respective pseudoisochromatic line. The AO H-R-R error scores of participants with color blindness were not clearly improved by the filters except for the protanopic subgroup. However, the filters promoted a change in the classification of the defect, specifically by increasing protan errors in deutan participants. In the color-naming task, Enchroma filters impaired perception in all participants, specifically for cyan stimuli.
Enchroma filters may affect the nature of a color vision deficiency without necessarily alleviating its severity. Although the performance of protan participants increased in the pseudoisochromatic task with Enchroma filters, this was the only improvement observed across tasks and subgroups. In summary, this study does not support the efficacy of Enchroma filters in correcting color discrimination in color-blind individuals.