Oh what a colourful world!


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          Approximately one  in 10 males is born colour blind… and I am one of them.  My world is not colourless, at least I didn’t think so, but apparently I experience the world of colours differently than most people. The term colour blind is not quite accurate as colour “blind” people usually do see colours.   “How?” you may ask.  Well the answer is that we don’t really know.  The deficiency is present at birth but we learn to differentiate the colours as we grow up from our parents and teachers showing us picture books and giving us crayons to play with. When you don’t know what you are missing then you don’t really miss it, right?
          Most people who are colour blind have difficulties with red and green.  They can actually see yellow, blue, black and white but can`t really define a clear red or green. There are other forms of ” colour blindness” but mine, deuteranomaly,  is the most common, encompassing red and green shades.  It so happened that a Dr Don McPherson, (with a Ph.D in Glass Science…who knew you can actually earn a Ph.D in glass science! ) noticed certain colour transformations while wearing his lab glasses. Studies showed that the lens formula he had developed for laser surgery actually served as an optical aid to the colour blind.
          One thing led to another and the first glasses to correct colour blindness were developed in 2012 . In 2014 they became generally available for the colour blind among us.  My girlfriend, Stella, got wind of this and started hounding me to buy a pair. But what was I really missing?  The glasses were pretty pricey and I was not quite convinced that there was really a cure for this abnormality. Maybe it was a scam.
          But more and more videos of crying people seeing true colours for the first time started to surface on You Tube…and more people commented that I should really try this. So I plundered my bank account and splurged on the “Apollo” which look a bit like the Ray-Ban shades that Tom Cruise wore in Top Gun. A couple of days later the package arrived and off Stella and I went to The Public Gardens, a magnificent park full of blooming flowers in Halifax.
          A bit nervous I opened the package, put the glasses on and………. Wow! I saw colour! Amazing pinks ( which I always thought were beiges ) vibrant reds, yellows, oranges and purples and then there were the greens! Various shades of greens, dark, light, blueish.
          My girlfriend video-taped the experience and when she played the video back I heard the words: “Oh wow”! at  least a dozen times.
          After a few hours of incredible tasting of colours (not to mention a delicious pink strawberry ice cream cone) we drove home.  I realized that I could truly see a traffic light for the first time (don’t worry, I always knew top was red and bottom green). The green was so bright that it was simply breathtaking. My smile was from ear to ear and I kept taking the glasses off and on to see the difference.  I can’t wait to see a rainbow!
  • photo`s  by Stella  


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