Ever Wonder What it’s Like to be Color Blind? Let Me Tell You
Funny story: I was six years old and just starting kindergarten. To kind of figure out where each student was academically the teachers were asking basic questions like do you know this letter or number? Do you know what animal this is? What color is this? The last question is where things got interesting for me.
Now, at the time I was unaware of what was really going on. But after I was done with my questions the teachers told my mom that I did not know my colors. This kind of came as a shock to her because up to that point the issue of color for me wasn’t really a big deal. Apparently, we had been working on my knowledge of colors and I was doing okay with them. So, the teachers suggested I get tested by the eye doctor for color blindness. Guess who miserably failed that test? I think the response was, “Oh yeah he is definitely color blind.” Bit of an ego killer for a six-year-old but oh well.
Most of the time when a person thinks of someone being color blind, they tend to think we only see in black in white. In some cases that is true. In my case, I see the world in color just not in the same way you do. Red can be orange or pink. Blue usually gets mixed up with pink, purple, or even some shades of green. Brown and green are interchangeable. You get the picture.
Luckily, there are companies out there that make certain glasses that allow us, color blind folks, to see what normal people see. I am fortunate enough to own a pair of EnChroma sunglasses. These things are awesome. They give me the chance to see the world as accurately as possible and I love it. Seeing basic things like green grass blows my mind every time I put the glasses on.
Anytime I wear my EnChroma glasses someone will ask me, “Well, how do you know that the grass is green?” My answer is, after 25 years of seeing the way I do, I kind of have an idea of what color things are supposed to be. I’ve been corrected on what color things are for so long I know that if I see something a certain way, odds are I’ve been corrected on it before.
For example, let’s say you and I are walking around town together and I point out something that I see as blue. First off, you are probably going to shoot me a weird look and say, “Uh, do you mean that pink thing?” Sure. But from that moment on I know that if I see that type of blue again, I know that it is actually pink. It will still look blue to me. However, my brain will know to refer to it as pink. I know it’s kind of confusing but so is being color blind.
To give a better idea of what my world looks like, here are a couple of different examples.
What I see is somewhere between Deuteranomaly and Protanopia. Looks weird, right?