A really sweet video of two color blind brothers embracing as they see the world in full technicolor for the first time is going viral today.
The Papenhausen brothers, Jace and James from San Diego, CA, were both born with red/green color blindness, a genetic disorder which makes it impossible for the sufferer to distinguish between the two.
When the brother’s father Jim bought a pair of EnChroma glasses online, he didn’t know what to expect, but he was excited about witnessing their boys seeing in full color for the first time.
— AOL.com (@AOL) June 24, 2016
The emotion of the moment surprised even the brothers. The family gathered out into the daylight with a few colored balloons and a bright colorful towel for them both to look at. The first brother to try them on asked a few questions about the balloons before he even put them on, so he could know what he was looking at. He was surprised that the orange one wasn’t blue, which gives you an idea of how differently he views color.
When James first placed the glasses on, everyone had to stop as the emotion overwhelmed him. He grabbed his brother and hugged him, sobbing, in a moment of sibling solidarity. His brother comforted him, despite not having tried on the glasses yet.
“It’s so bright!”
Jace is similarly overwhelmed when putting them on, and the brothers hug again. However, once the grief had died down, they both showed childish enthusiasm for all the things they could see now. A slip of lime green paper becomes fascinating. Watch the video here.
Reactions to the EnChroma glasses have been remarkable, said a spokeswoman for the company.
“We’ve had some incredible reactions from some of our users,” Julie Trinh of EnChroma told Inside Edition, but she was quick to point out that not everyone has such an immediate result. The brain has to adjust to what it’s seeing and may not be able to interpret the data correctly straight away, so for some new users, it takes a little longer for their eyes to adjust, and they see the change more gradually.
Trinh said the company was delighted by the brother’s reactions, and they’ve sent them another pair of EnChroma glasses so the boys can experience their new world of color together.
An astounding one in 12 men are born with some sort of color-blindness, and about one in 200 women. The type the brothers have is the most common, and means that they can correctly identify just five crayons from a standard box of 24. The glasses work by filtering out specific light that makes colors appear much more saturated. They don’t work for every type of color blindness, but they work for about 80 percent of people with the condition.
— Roger Greive (@pw522) June 5, 2016
The invention of the glasses was a happy accident when the company set out to create glasses to help surgeons to distinguish tissue from blood during laser surgery. They succeeded, but they realized the glasses also seemed to fix color vision.
Some ophthalmologists have expressed skepticism for the company’s claims. Dr. Sam Markowitz of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and Toronto Western Hospital says “I would prefer to see validated color testing,” and that plenty of products claiming to fix color blindness have come and gone, and what he really wants to see is some hard evidence that the glasses increase the amount of colors the user can see.
— Leader Dog (@Leader_Dog) June 23, 2016
It seems like the internet decided to do its own testing and the Papenhausen’s video joins dozens of other spontaneous testimonials on YouTube and Facebook, with many new wearers expressing wonder and awe at what they’re now able to see.
EnChroma has announced that it’s expanding into a color-correction contact lens range as well.
[Image via Shutterstock]