Apples on a tree


I am colorblind. I am often asked what color an apple or a strawberry is. Most of us would say red, and so would I, but how you perceive red may not be how I perceive red. The color I see as red is the color I have always been taught is red. Sometimes I can’t distinguish between ripe apples or cherries on a tree and the leaves unless I get close. Even then, I primarily see them by their shape. I also never saw the beauty in rainbows because all I see is an arc of yellow and blue. Pretty, yes, but not as awe inspiring as it must be to someone who has normal color perception.

When I joined the navy, they gave me The Ishihara Color Test and the only number I could see was the one on the sample plate. My color perception is so bad that when my wife was repainting our bedroom, she asked me what color I wanted it. I said any color but yellow. It was several years after she painted it before she revealed that our bedroom was now yellow.

Another thing I fail to see is the beauty of fall leaves. I am told they are beautiful and in many colors by people with normal color vision but I just have to believe them. These are all relatively minor inconveniences though and I have learned to adapt to them.

They say there is no cure for color blindness, no surgery or no drug you can take to correct this. However, I hear that people with red-green color blindness may be able to use a special set of lenses to help them perceive colors more accurately. I was skeptical.

Due to an article I wrote on colorblindness I was offered the chance to try out some EnChrona glasses these fit right over my prescription glasses. Even my teenage granddaughter said they looked good. But styling doesn’t mean they would work well. I had worn the inside glasses for a few days. I noticed that colors seemed to pop.

The real test came though when my wife and I went out to lunch one day. I was wearing the outdoor glasses and we were on our way home when suddenly there it was, all the proof I needed. I saw an apple tree, a relatively mundane act. The exciting part was I could see the apples on the tree. OMG!

I screamed APPLES and my wife thought I was having a stroke or something. After I assured her I wasn’t I explained that was the first time I actually saw the apples on a tree. I can’t wait to see a rainbow or the fall leaves.

Tagged with: Color blind, Apples, Glasses, Ishihara Color Test