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Surv Ophthalmol. 1981 Mar-Apr;25(5):312-24.

The X-Chrom lens. On seeing red.


A broadband red filter placed over one eye will have the effect of improving the ability of certain color vision defectives to name colors correctly. A red-tinted contact lens will have the same effect; such a device is marketed under the name, the X-Chrom lens. In this article, the author examines the basic properties of color vision defects, explains the optical effect of the red filter, and reviews several studies which evaluate the effect of the X-Chrom lens. He concludes that while the lens may allow the wearer to achieve a better score on certain color vision tests, it does not actually correct color vision in the natural environment. Deleterious effects of wearing a red filter are also discussed. It is advised that patients wearing the X-Chrom lens be fully apprised of its limitations and of dangers that may be created by the associated visual distortions.

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