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updated 9/7/2012 4:49:30 PM ET 2012-09-07T20:49:30

EnChroma Cx: Starting at $799 (varies by frame/lens)

Starting today at the International Vision Expo West show in Las Vegas, EnChroma will be demonstrating several new sunglass lenses aimed at helping the color blind.

Their lenses are formulated for the one in 20 males worldwide with either deuteranomalous or protanomalous color vision deficiency; the Cx-D lens addresses deuteranomalous (red-green) color blindedness and Cx-PT tackles protanomalous (red-lacking). These filters represent the first non-haploscopic solution -- allowing the same color perception by each eye -- to provide an effective correction for color blindedness.

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Constructed with over 100 layers of nano-thin, but durable, metal-oxide coatings applied to the surface of a chemically tempered ultra-thin glass substrate, these lenses selectively reduce exact light wavelengths responsible for the color confusion.

One application for individuals with "normal" color vision is the Cx-UV450 lens, which completely blocks the harmful ultra-violet radiation band without sacrificing color in the same way as traditional blue blockers.

Dr. Don McPherson, VP of product development, was inspired to create EnChroma's advanced optics line after noticing that laser surgeons were wearing his custom protective eyewear outside at the beach. "Investigating this phenomenon further, I then discovered that the eyewear had a noticeable positive impact on the wearer's color vision, explaining both increased performance differentiating tissue in the operating room and enhanced vividness of the natural world outdoors. The end result was the development of a product with far more benefits than the original product."

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Ironically, just as McPherson hadn't initially been focused on such a solution, he told Discovery News how the estimated 10 million Americans with red-green color blindness stand to see details they may not know they're missing.

"Far more people are mild cases and they are just unable to really appreciate how vivid everything around them really is. There is a hidden world of information existing right in front of their eyes," he said.

Credit: EnChroma

© 2012 Discovery Channel

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