Purpose: Color vision deficiency (CVD) especially the Red-Green type (RG), affects 8% of the male and 0.5% of the female population. There is no cure for color deficiency. However, there are specially-tinted lenses marketed to enhance the color contrast for CVD individuals. Recently, EnChroma Filters claim to enhance color perception. The aim of this study was to examine EnChroma Cx-14, red, and green filters subjectively on subjects with RG CVD.
Methods: Nine males and one female (aged 19 – 52 years) with RG CVD were recruited. Five were severe deutans, two moderate deutans, and two were severe protans. Subjective responses to EnChroma were tested using ColorDx software on a tablet and online Farnsworth-Munsell (FM) 100-Hue tests. Error scores of the ColorDx and FM 100 Hue tests with EnChroma CX-14, Red and Green filters were calculated and compared against Placebo (untinted glasses).
Results: In only two subjects , EnChroma filters resulted in CVD improvement from severe protan to moderate protan and from severe deutan to moderate deutan using ColorDx. Neither EnChroma nor green filters improved the mean error scores of ColorDx (p = 0.39) and (p = 1.00), respectively. However, red filter significantly improved color discrimination from severe deutan to mild deutan in all deutan subjects, and in one subject, from severe protan to mild deutan (p = 0.013). Similarly, EnChroma did not significantly improve the error score of FM 100 Hue test. Also, none of the other filters showed significant improvement in the error scores of the FM 100 Hue.
Conclusions: EnChroma Cx-14 filters are multi-notch filters that modify the wavelength transmission to the observer. To our knowledge this is the first study to measure the effectiveness of EnChroma Cx-14 on digital version of Ishihara (ColorDx). Our results showed that the EnChroma filters had no significant effect on the performance of any of the CVD subjects, but improved the error score in only two subjects.
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