St Albans optician UK’s only stockist of innovative colourblind glasses

Jez Levy with Michael Hailey wearing the new EnChroma lenses.

Jez Levy with Michael Hailey wearing the new EnChroma lenses. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans optician has become the UK’s only stockist of innovative glasses which enable colourblind people to see the world in a whole new light.

EYES On St Albans, based at The Quadrant in Marshalswick, is now stocking EnChroma glasses, the first product on the market that improves colour perception for 80 per cent of individuals with red/green colourblindness.

The UK’s three million colourblind people struggle to fully “see” red, blue and green light, meaning their perceptions of the world are vastly different from people with “normal” vision.

Invented by a PhD glass scientist and UC Berkeley mathematician, EnChroma’s revolutionary glasses combine the latest in color perception neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people around the world.

The science behind the technology involves using filters to put blockers between the red and green colour receptors (cones) in the macular on the retina.

This sends signals to the brain separating these red and green receptors, leading to the individual seeing reds ‘redder’ and greens ‘greener’.

These more vivid reds and greens lead to more definition and saturation of other colours of the spectrum such as mauves, purples and pinks, as well as differentiating browns from reds, all of which helps reduce colourblindness for the wearer.

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EYES On St Albans owner Jez Levy said: “In just a couple of short weeks, the response to these EnChroma glasses from the US has been simply astonishing.

“The most common question I am asked is ‘do they work’? I would have to say I do not know the answer personally, however, pretty much everybody who is red/green colourblind that has tried the glasses has seen the benefit, leading to some quite emotional life-changing responses. I am thrilled that EYES on St Albans is first retailer to introduce this revolutionary product to the UK.”

Jez’s first customer was 21-year-old Michael Hailey, a film production student from St Albans who has never experienced full colour vision in his life.

He was introduced to EnChroma after his mother, Jo, a professional photographer, was commissioned to create a 3D virtual tour of EYES On St Albans as part of its promotional marketing activity.

She asked Jez whether he knew anything which could help Michael’s condition, which reminded him that he had been attempting to talk to EnChroma in the US, and swiftly leading to a conversation about entering into a retail agreement and the dispatch of sample lenses.

Michael’s grandmother Jill Hailey picks up the story: “Michael didn’t wonder at rainbows, or the beauty of red roses, until one recent Saturday when he was handed the gift of colour.

“We all presented ourselves at the shop and Michael took a test to determine which kind of colourblindness he had.

“He then donned the special glasses, and his reaction was amazing as he experienced full colours for the very first time - in fact I don’t think he stopped grinning all day.”

Jex said: “I am delighted to be able to help someone with colour blindness, especially, in Michael’s case, a young person from St Albans who is studying film production at university.

“Safe to say I think that Michael is the first local person to benefit from the EnChroma technology, which has never before been on the UK market.”

Thanking Jez, Michael added: “It’s amazing how much can change just by being able to see more colours.

“Everything jumps out at me and puts me in a fantastic mood.”

The test that Michael took is available on the EYES On St Albans app, which can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple App Store.