Could these Contact Lenses Combat Colour Blindness in Time?

Science & Tech |

Colour blindness is, to someone who does not suffer it, a rather strange paradox. The idea that brown and red could be identical to one person yet so strikingly different to another can seem really odd.


The problem is that for many people, this is their life; being able to mix up colours which, to another person, could not be any more unique. However, this could be about to change after work taking place at Tel Aviv University. 

Research experts at the university may have come up with high-tech contact lenses which could be used for, among other things, reducing or even ending colour blindness. Two science experts, including Sharon Karepov, have come up with a spectacular solution.

The aim is to help them utilise super-thin optical devices, known as metasurfaces, which can be used to correct red-green colour blindness known as deuteranomaly.

In a statement detailing the development, Karepov said: “Problems with distinguishing red from green interrupt simple daily routines such as deciding whether a banana is ripe. Our contact lenses … create a customized, compact, and durable way to address these deficiencies.”

A Problem of the Past

Anyone suffering from this particular eye condition could find that this helps them to see the differences previously imperceptible to them. This would allow people who have put up with this problem their entire lives to finally have a proven solution. 

The effect on a person with deuteranomaly. Left image: the original scenario, Middle image: how the scene would look to a person with deuteranomaly, Right image: the scene viewed with the new contact lenses. Courtesy of Sharon Karepov, Tel Aviv University

The main problem, though, is that while we do have some solutions that already do this, they tend to be much heavier and bulkier than a normal contact lens. This new research of using metasurfaces, though, looks to have been the ticket to solving the solution. 

They have found a way to use metasurfaces and place that on a curved contact lens. Given that metasurfaces are almost always flat, this is a huge boon for the community.

This improves colour perfection by as much as a factor of 10, and could “all but restore” previously missing contrasts in vision. 

You can find out more about this particular find if you check out the Optics Letters journal; a popular source of information about such finds from The Optical Society.

For those who have put up with colour blindness all their lives, this could be the solution that was needed. 

Deuteranomaly has been a problem that many people have previously have to put up with for all of their lives. With such a discovery, though, this could become a problem of the past for many, many people. 

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Dale Brandenbird

I started out writing for others but realized that when I write, I do it for myself as well. It's therapeutic. Really. You should try it too. Start writing.