Tips for Coping with Red-Green Color Confusion


Red-green color blindness, also called deuteranomaly, is the most prevalent form of color vision deficiency. It affects how the eyes detect and process red and green hues. For those with red-green color issues, distinguishing between reds, greens, browns and oranges poses consistent difficulties, as these colors seem indistinguishable or appear as entirely different shades.

While there is no cure, implementing lifestyle adaptations, using assistive technology, gaining sighted assistance when needed, and maintaining a positive attitude empower those with red-green color confusion to confidently navigate daily life and thrive. Here we will explore practical tips and solutions to smooth functioning for those with red-green color issues in key facets of life.

Home Life Adaptations

The home environment contains numerous color-coded systems, appliances, clothing items and supplies that can be perplexing to navigate with red-green color blindness. Making some simple changes around the house makes domestic life much more manageable.

Organize Clothes by Texture/Pattern

Sort clothing into categories based on attributes like fabric type, garment function, sleeve style and visual patterns instead of color. Add tactile tags to hangers indicating clothing type. This allows coordinating outfits without relying on hues.

Label Items Clearly

Use bold, high-contrast labels to clearly identify appliances, electronics, food containers and medications when colors are indistinguishable. Names, patterns or textures help differentiate ambiguous items.

Verify Colors

Use color decoder apps and gadgets when uncertain to verify the exact shade of clothing items, produce, packaged goods and more. Scanning and hearing the proper color builds confidence choosing correctly.

Check Doneness of Meat Thoroughly

Since color is an unreliable indicator, always double check doneness of meats with a foolproof food thermometer. This prevents both undercooked and overcooked disappointments.

Work and School Strategies

Navigating prevalent color-coded systems and materials used in academic and professional settings poses added challenges for the red-green color blind. But supportive accommodations and technologies exist to minimize unnecessary obstacles.

Explain Your Needs

Politely inform teachers, employers, administrators and IT departments about your red-green color issues. Provide examples of how it impacts your work and what accommodations help provide accessibility. Increased understanding leads to greater support.

Request Colorblind-Friendly Materials

Ask educators and employers to provide alternate color formats of diagrams, graphics, data visualizations, and wiring schematics using icons, patterns, shapes and text instead of colors alone. Most are responsive when directly informed of needs.

Use Color Identifier Tools

Portable color readers and smartphone apps enable those with red-green color blindness to independently scan charts, colored wiring, computer elements and immediately receive an audible readout of colors. Extremely helpful workplace and academic aids.

Colleague Assistance

Discreetly enlist a willing coworker or classmate who can provide quick color verification as needed when deciphering charts, electronics, diagrams etc. Having an ally and backup check prevents mix-ups.

Traveling and Driving

Navigating the colorful world of maps, transit systems, signage and signals poses added obstacles for the red-green color blind. But adaptive techniques empower safe, confident travel.

Use Added Caution with Traffic Lights

Take extra time verifying stoplight colors by cross referencing signals and positions. Enable color blind modes on GPS apps to provide audio color alerts. Apps can also scan streetlights and identify color if uncertain.

Verify Map Colors

Ask a sighted friend or family member to double check map colors before traveling in unfamiliar areas. Misreading a green vs red transit line can cause frustrating errors.

Leverage Color Blind Travel Apps

Navigation apps like Colorblind Pal allow entering start and end points then provide audio step-by-step guidance naming landmarks, reading signs, and noting required vehicle/transit colors for those with red-green color issues. Helpful for confident independent travel in new areas.

Try Color Enhancing Lenses

Specialized chromatic lenses and glasses with optical filters may help boost problematic red and green hues to improve color clarity for some with red-green color blindness. While not a cure, for many these aids assist with differentiating key traffic and indicator colors.

Products and Resources

From handy gadgets to specialized glasses to helpful apps, various assistive technologies are available to better navigate red-green color confusion. Online groups also connect those sharing this condition.

Specialized Glasses and Contact Lenses

Tinted or chromatic lenses may help some with red-green color blindness better distinguish problem colors by enhancing color contrast and brightness. Products like EnChroma can expand the range of discernible hues for wearers. Effects vary individually.

Color Identifier Apps

Applications like Colorfy use your smartphone camera to identify problematic colors in real time through audio descriptions. Scanning produce, wires, clothing etc. and hearing the color provides helpful verification.

Portable Color Analyzers

Gadgets like Oxxiom allow scanning any surface to detect the specific color, which is then spoken aloud or displayed. Useful for reading test results, identifying wires, deciphering clothing colors and more. Provides quick color confirmation.

Online Groups and Forums

Connecting with others experiencing red-green color confusion via communities like Color Blind Pal provides camaraderie, problem-solving insights, product reviews, and shared experiences. You gain valuable perspective into practical coping strategies.

Raising Awareness

In addition to using assistive tech, fostering understanding and educating others enables increased accessibility and integration for the red-green colorblind.

Explain Your Color Confusion

Gently educate family and friends about your red-green colorblindness - which hues are problematic, resulting frustrations, and how allies can discreetly help verify baffling colors when needed. Increased understanding builds support.

Advocate for Accessible Design

Respectfully provide companies, organizations and institutions feedback on improving product interfaces, informational materials, curriculums and environments to increase accessibility for the red-green color blind. Your suggestions influence positive change.

Ask for Readability Help

Don't be shy asking friends, staff, coworkers for quick assist interpreting charts, diagrams, maps and other color-coded information you struggle reading independently. Most people gladly help once aware it's needed.

Share Your Experiences

By publicly sharing your personal stories on social media or within your circles about living with red-green color issues, you foster awareness and demystify this often "invisible" condition. Increased understanding leads to greater accommodation.

Living Well with Red-Green Color Blindness

While practical adaptive aids facilitate functioning, ultimately adopting a positive self-view, focusing on capabilities, and refusing to limit passions empower the red-green colorblind to thrive.

Play to Your Strengths

While you have difficulty with greens and reds, remember your mind is adept at noticing subtleties in textures, details, patterns and tones. Reframe weaknesses as strengths - you have unique and valuable perceptual talents.

Don't Let Confusion Limit You

Don't allow uncertainty around colors to prevent you fully enjoying interests and activities. Implement creative adaptations, leverage tech aids as needed, and pursue ambitions boldly. With the right outlook, red-green color issues don't have to inhibit your zest for life.

Surround Yourself with Support

Seek out communities, friends and partners who understand red-green color blindness and provide empathy, patience and discreet sighted assistance when needed. You deserve compassion.

Advocate Accessibility

By providing feedback to organizations, companies, schools and sharing your experiences publicly, you raise awareness of colorblind needs. Your voice and suggestions have power to influence attitudes and design. Speak up.


While red-green color blindness certainly poses some difficulties distinguishing certain hues, proactively implementing practical adaptations, using assistive technology, gaining discreet sighted assistance when needed, and maintaining positive self-perception allow those affected to confidently navigate and enjoy life.

Specific accommodations foster achievement and accessibility at school, work and in activities. Aids like color-enhancing lenses and identifier apps cultivate independence. But compassion, community and self-advocacy empower as well. Don't let color confusion prevent you from boldly pursuing passions and appreciating the colorful vibrance around you. With the right strategies, support and outlook, the future is bright for those who see red and green differently.