Sunglasses for the Color Deficient | VideoAnne Kelly | 5/25/2009
Flowers are blooming all over Bismarck, and while there`s no questioning their magnificent colors. Bill Chaussee can`t tell you what they all are. He`s color blind. or color deficient, as the condition is now called.
"I can see major distinct colors, black, white, red, dark green, orange," Chaussee says.
But off colors like pink, purple, gold and gray, can throw him. Chaussee was born with a red-green color deficiency. His brother and uncle were too. He says he`s adjusted to his vision over the years, but he still has challenges with picking out clothing.
"One time I went to an office wearing purple and green," he says. "I was soon straightened out."
And every now and then, he has trouble recognizing traffic lights.
"I have difficulty with yellow lights, sometimes," says Chaussee. "I tend to think they may be the red and if the sunlight is shining again the red light, I may not see it and it may make the bottom green light that`s no on appear green and I have to be careful not to proceed."
Chaussee`s driving experiences are not uncommon among people with color deficiencies. And a new study finds colorblind folks have an even harder time identify lights when they wear sunglasses with greenish yellow lenses or amber and brown tinted lenses.
"They need to be very very careful and they need to think about that when they`re picking their sunglasses," says Dr. Danelle Moch, an optometrist at the Eye Center of the Dakotas. "They shouldn`t think they can pick any sunglasses off of a rack anywhere and think that maybe the yellow one looks cool to them and they want the yellow lenses, it definitely could affect their ability to distinguish traffic signals."
Grey shaded sunglasses are safe for people with color deficiencies to wear, as are yellow-brown tinted pairs. As for, Chaussee, he skips sunglasses all together and hits the road with one less thing to look through as he sorts out the colors around him.
An estimated one in 12 males is color deficient, compared to one in every 250 females.