E-mail Support: info@enchroma.com
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Introducing EnChroma Cx

Functional Eyewear for Color Blindness Correction

With a worldwide prevalence of up to 8% in males, many young boys are first diagnosed as color blind in school-mandated vision testing. EnChroma's new polycarbonate Cx lens and pediatric frame selections bring an important new technology to parents and educators concerned about the connection between academic performance and color vision deficiencies.

EnChroma’s color-blindness correction eyewear are Rx-capable and available in a range of styles including sports, lifestyle and kids frames.

EnChroma products are made in the USA and are backed by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Effective

Discrete & Stylish

Advanced Optics

Traffic & Driving Safe

Made in USA

Rock-Solid Science

Reviews & Testimonials

Then I put on the glasses. Unbelievable! … It was like a peek into a world I knew existed, but had never been allowed to see.

David Pogue, New York Times

With my Enchroma sunglasses, I can see the three distinct colors of a stoplight for the first time, and red stop signs and lit brake lights jump out with a new urgency.

Kelly Kittell, BoingBoing.net

The EnChroma Story

Photo: Liz Hafalia / The San Francisco Chronicle

EnChroma co-founders at work; Dr. Don McPherson (left) and Andrew Schmeder (right). Photo: Liz Hafalia / The San Francisco Chronicle

Invented by Dr. Don McPherson under a NIH-sponsored small-business innovation research grant, EnChroma glasses are based around the patent-pending Cx lens, a discrete & effective solution for color blindness correction based on our novel spectral multi-notch filtering technology.

McPherson discovered the effect by accident: while designing eye-protection glasses for laser-surgeons, when he gave the special lens to a color blind friend. The lenses enabled him to see colors where they were previously muddled and muted, giving McPherson the inspiration to start a new direction of research. After a long journey through research grants, prototypes and product studies, the current form of consumer-friendly glasses were designed.

Frequently Asked Questions

EnChroma only makes one type of of lens, called the EnChroma Cx.

It is correct that there are several different types of color blindness, with different underlying causes. However, according to our research into product effectiveness we have found that this single lens formula addresses the majority of cases of color blindness.

The effectiveness of the EnChroma Cx lens can vary depending on the individual’s type of color vision deficiency.  We have found in product studies that it is effective for about 80% of cases. These cases are classified as types of anomalous trichromacy.

EnChroma glasses are backed by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee: if you purchase the glasses and find that they do not help your color vision please contact our customer support to arrange a return within the trial period.

With the EnChroma lens, colors appear brighter and more saturated. People report that their color discrimination is faster and more accurate, they are able to see more vibrant colors. They are more likely to notice objects that are differentiated against a background based on color (such as a flower against background of leaves), whereas without the lens those objects would have been overlooked.

In our user trials, people with color blindness also noticed that the EnChroma lens helped them to differentiate textures within a single shade of color—for example the pattern of different shades of green on a leaf, or in a complex textures such as a hillside covered in trees may appear to be “less noisy”.

Based on our product effectiveness studies, we have found that EnChroma glasses are effective for about 80% of cases of color blindness.  The results vary depending on the type and extent of color vision deficiency. You can get an estimate of your type by taking our online test at EnChroma.com/test.

When people with normal color vision wear the EnChroma Cx glasses, they see a “color boost” effect: colors appear to “pop” with a super-ordinary vibrance. This effect, called chromatic contrast enhancement, is how the Cx also helps people with color blindness.

Many people may be familiar with wearing color-tinted lenses (e.g. green, brown, pink, blue, rose, etc).  These conventionally-tinted lenses can enhance the brightness of a particular color, but do so at the expense of others.  In some cases these lenses distort colors so badly they are considered unsafe for use while driving due to the potential for misinterpretation of traffic signals.

EnChroma is not a tinted lens–it has a neutral gray appearance and it enhances all the primary colors (red, green, blue) simultaneously.  This is only possible using our proprietary patent-pending multi-band spectral notch-filter technology.

Since the first scientific recognition of color blindness in the 1790s, numerous inventions and therapies have been attempted to correct for color blindness. The first glasses for assistance with color blindness date to the 1850s and were created by James Maxwell. These glasses featured a lens having an arrangement of three differently tinted segments arranged vertically: red on the top, clear in the middle and green across the bottom. One could presumably determine the color of an object by comparing the relative brightness of its appearance in each section of the lens. Essentially it could be called a “color vision trifocal” design.

Around the time of World War II (1940s) the public awareness of color blindness increased greatly as people wanted to volunteer to fly in the air force. Flying a plane (especially at night) requires good color vision, squashing the dreams of many eager young men. Consequently, the market was flooded with “cures” for color blindness offered by unscrupulous proprietors with the promise of passing a color blindness test. These ranged from benign frauds to outright dangerous procedures such as a doctor who would actually inject snake venom into the eye. Please note that color blindness cannot be cured, and that occupational testing is required for reasons of public safety (e.g. public transport operators) and should not be circumvented.

Since the 1970s a variety of lens products have been marketed which take the form of tinted lenses applied monocularly or binocularly with different tints in each eye. The tints are usually a strong red, purple or pink color.  Often the tint is put into a contact lenses, making the solution relatively discrete. While such devices can in theory provide additional spectral information, it is understood according to vision science that these devices work on the principle of binocularly rivalry (disruption of depth perception) and do not fundamentally improve color vision. Due to the low risk and possible benefit to some individuals, the FDA has permitted such devices to be sold provided that they are clearly labeled that 1) they are not a cure for color blindness and 2) have minimal therapeutic effectiveness.

EnChroma is based on a unique approach to color blindness correction: restoration of the spectral separation between cones using a narrow-band notch filter. The effect works for people with forms of anomalous trichromacy, which are the majority of cases (about 80%). The notch filter, when designed correctly, can be provided without inducing a color tint to the lens–it appears to look like an ordinary sunglass lens. Unlike conventional color-tinted lenses which distort colors–emphasizing one color at the expense of others, EnChroma lenses amplify the perception of all three primary colors simultaneously (red, green and blue). The result is a “boost” to the chromatic saturation (purity or vividness) of colors.

Technical details aside, we welcome you to examine our testimonial evidence from happy customers and consider making the investment yourself. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with the purchase, EnChroma products can be returned and refunded at any time within the 30-day trial period.

The names you see in our product catalog, “Apollo”, “Explorer”, etc, refer to the frame style. All frames we sell come with the same lens for color blindness correction, which is called the “Cx“.

Frame styles can be broadly classified according to their intended use:

  • Sports frames are performance-oriented styles. They provide superior coverage–protection from stray light entering around the lens, as well as wind. They work for activities such as running, biking, etc. Specific sports such as baseball require special high-impact frames. Please note any appropriate activity restrictions. Our sports frames work well with Rx prescription lenses, including high power Rx lenses.
  • Kids frames are frames made in small and extra-small sizes to fit children and youth faces. The ones we offer are sporty and work well with Rx prescription lenses.

To get the EnChroma lens fitted in a third-party frame you will need to go order from an eyecare professional that carries that frame style and also carries EnChroma.

There are many different providers of vision insurance, and their coverage & plans vary. Some insurance plans provide a general benefit that can be applied to any prescription sunglass lens. If so this benefit may be applicable to the EnChroma Cx lens which is also a type of sunglass lens intended for outdoor use.

Please contact your insurance provider to find out if EnChroma lenses are covered.

Yes. If you normally wear glasses for correction of your distance vision, then you will want to get the EnChroma lens made with your prescription.

EnChroma glasses are intended for outdoor use which generally means they are not used for near-vision correction. So, if you only wear prescription glasses for correction of near-vision (e.g. reading, office work, etc), then you may not need to order the prescription lenses with EnChroma.

Prescription types:
Our glasses can be made with single vision prescriptions as well as bifocal and progressive corrections. You can order a frame with your prescription via our website, or via an authorized eyecare professional that carries EnChroma.

Normal Prescription range*:
Single Vision: SPH -4 to +2 CYL -6 to +6
Progressives: SPH -4 to +2 CYL -4 to +4 ADD +3

EnChroma Cx Prescription lenses are made from polycarbonate.

*Out of range prescriptions may be possible depending details of frame geometry. Please contact us for details.

Note: The EnChroma Cx Non-Prescription and Prescription lenses have the same functionality. You do not need a doctor’s prescription to buy the EnChroma Cx.

You can also get EnChroma with a “fit-over” frame called the Receptor–this can be worn over your regular glasses (see below).