What’s it like to live with red-green colourblindness?

Red-green colourblindness is the most common form of colourblindess in the world, and affects more men than women.

First of all, we don’t see in black and white. Let’s just get that out of the way before we go any further. Secondly, we still see greens and reds – we just don’t see them like other people. Most of us still know what a red folder looks like, and we still see green trees.

We still see the difference between green and red traffic lights (which look red and green). Poppies look red to us, also.

So what do colours look like to you?

Well, this is a really difficult question to answer as sadly science hasn’t yet invented a way of switching between colourblind and “normal” mode but a good example comes from the copy who invented EnChroma glasses. They describe red-green colourblindness in terms of “greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and browns may appear similar, especially in low light. It can also be difficult to tell the difference between blues and purples, or pinks and grays” which pretty much sums up how I see.

Red green colourblind

For example, my sister is was buying a new car and showed me a photo. I said “urgh, brown? What would you want to buy a brown car for?” to which everyone else exclaimed that it was actually red. Pinks and greys really confuse me as well.

Does colourblindness effect your job?

No, not really. I once worked as a car salesman and struggled to tell the difference between shades of very light metallica blues and greens, which could sometimes be a little bit embarrassing but actually worked in my favour as it was a good ice-breaker with the customer. I never had asperations to join the RAF (who don’t allow colourblind people to join)