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CBS News Healthwatch:
Maryland Doctor's Treatment for Color Blindness

Nov 15, 2005

NEW YORK (CBS) – Color blindness affects one in every twelve males in this country and less than one in two-hundred females. There’s no cure for the condition, which is inherited.

Now one Maryland doctor has found a way to open a whole new world for these patients. The term color blind is often misused—the more common condition is known as color vision deficiency. “A true color blind patient sees greys, black and white and greys, and that’s a very rare condition,” says Dr. Thomas Azman, optometrist. “We’re concerned more about the patients who are confused between reds and greens, which is the most common form.”

While color-blind individuals may have problems coordinating their wardrobes, the condition has even more serious consequences, especially for those who need to be able to see colors in order to make a living.

Because so many patients in Dr. Azman’s practice wanted to pursue careers that require color vision, he started testing lenses from around the world. The result is called The Color Correction System.

“My lenses work by changing the spectral composition of the cones in the back of the eye to enhance the color of discrimination, what people see. So, people see colors in more brighter form and they see color in more natural form,” Dr. Azman says.

The system’s corrective filters change the wavelength of each color going into one or both eyes, which enhances color perception and discrimination. The filters can be designed for patients in glasses and contact lenses, which may be a better choice for kids.

“Kids would be taunted by their other friends by wearing these funny-looking glasses, so kids actually do better in contact lenses,” he says.

November 15, 2005

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