Colours in sight

Published: Wednesday 15 April 1998

to a British optician, even colour-blind people can now see red. Literally. David Harris, a uk -based medi cal expert, has developed lenses specially designed for people suffering from colour blindness. Though this fairly common eye disorder has no medical cure, Harris' invention, called chromatin, represents an important step along the road to finding one.

Colour blindness is caused by defective cells in the macula , a part of the retina. Harris discovered that enhanced colour differentiation can be achieved when individually-tailored precision tints are applied to the centre of normal contact lenses.

Harris, a research and constancy practitioner at the Corneal Laser Centre in Wirral, uk , has developed as many as 26 lenses -- each with a different tint -- in his attempt to put a dash of colour in the lives of his patients. He arrived at the most successful pigments after an exhaustive selection process that involved experiments with over 100 different lenses and tints. "The pigment is placed at the centre of each lens to suit the individual requirements of each patient.

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