Coping with Red-Green Color Blindness: Practical Advice for Daily Life


Red-green color blindness, also known as deuteranomaly, is the most common form of color vision deficiency, affecting about 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women globally. Those with red-green color blindness have difficulty distinguishing between reds, greens, browns, and oranges. These colors may seem muted or hard to differentiate.

While there is no cure for hereditary red-green color confusion, many effective adaptive strategies and technologies exist to help manage daily life. With some simple modifications, understanding from others, and a positive attitude, red-green color blindness does not have to be a significant obstacle to thriving. This article provides practical coping advice across key facets of life.

Home Life Adaptations

The home is full of red and green clues, from produce to appliances to clothing. Implementing some simple changes makes domestic life much smoother for the red-green colorblind.

Organize Clothes by Texture and Pattern

Don't rely on color to sort clothes - instead categorize by fabric type, sleeve length, function, style or pattern. Add tactile tags or labels to hangers to easily identify types of garments when getting dressed.

Label Items Clearly

Use bold, high-contrast print to label appliances, electronics, food containers, and medications. This helps identify and differentiate kitchen tools, cables, groceries, and other items that otherwise appear indistinguishable.

Use Color ID Technology

Apps like Colorfy and portable color analyzers allow those with red-green color blindness to independently scan the colors of clothes, appliances, electronics, and more for audible or tactile feedback. Helpful for double-checking when uncertain.

Optimize Lighting and Contrast

Ensure ample, high quality lighting throughout the home to maximize color and detail perception. Reduce glare, supplement task lighting, adjust smart bulb tones for ideal conditions. Proper lighting aids in distinguishing reds and greens.

School and Workplace Strategies

Navigating color-coded systems, graphics and materials in education and employment poses added challenges with red-green color blindness. But accommodations and assistive technology help minimize barriers.

Request Colorblind-Friendly Materials

Ask teachers and employers to provide alternate color formats of diagrams, data visualizations, wiring schematics etc. using patterns, labeling, shapes and symbols instead of colors alone. Most are responsive when directly informed of needs.

Ask for Colleague Help

Discreetly enlist classmates or coworkers to provide quick color clarification as needed when interpreting maps, charts, or deciphering colored wiring. Having an ally who understands your needs speeds problem-solving.

Use Color Identifier Technology

Portable color readers, specialized lenses and smartphone apps enable those with red-green color blindness to independently scan and identify problematic colored text, graphics, wires and items. Helpful workplace and academic aids.

Explain Needs Clearly

To encourage assistance and accommodations, politely educate colleagues, classmates, teachers, supervisors and disability/accessibility resource providers on how red-green color blindness specifically affects you. Increased understanding fosters support.

Traveling and Driving with Color Blindness

Navigating colored signals, maps and transportation systems poses added roadblocks for those with red-green color vision deficiency. But adaptive strategies minimize risks.

Use Caution with Traffic Lights

Those with red-green color blindness must take extra precaution verifying stoplight colors. Double check uncertain signals by comparing to other lights. Enable color blind modes on GPS apps for audio color alerts.

Have Maps Verified

Request a sighted person double check map colors and transit schedules before traveling in unfamiliar areas. Misreading transit line colors can cause errors. Apps with color blind modes can also help.

Ask for Help from Staff

Politely explain your red-green colorblindness to airline staff, transit workers and tourism personnel who can then assist interpreting graphics, seat cards, wayfinding signage etc. Most are happy to help when made aware.

Try Enhancing Lenses/Apps

Specialized chromatic lenses and smart glasses may help some with red-green color blindness better distinguish problem traffic lights. Color identifier apps also allow scanning signals for audio verification when uncertain. Tools create confidence.

Tools and Resources

Specialized lenses, portable color readers, and smartphone apps provide useful assistive tech for managing red-green color blindness. Online groups also connect those sharing the condition.

Colored Lenses

Tinted lenses and glasses with optical filters may help boost color contrast and reduce confusion differentiating red, green, brown and orange hues for some with this type of color vision deficiency. Products like EnChroma can expand perceivable colors.

Color Identifier Apps

Applications like Colorfy use your smartphone camera to audibly identify colors in real time. This allows scanning uncertain objects, textiles, produce, wiring etc. and hearing the color clearly spoken. Helpful when needing to double check.

Online Groups and Forums

Connecting with others experiencing red-green color confusion via groups like Color Blind Pal provides community, tips, product recommendations and more. You gain insight into how others adapt.

Portable Color Analyzers

Pocket-sized color readers like Oxxiom allow scanning surfaces to detect the specific hue. Helpful for identifying wires, reading test results, shopping for clothing, and matching uncertain colors. Provides color verification as needed.

Fostering Understanding in Your Circles

While adaptive technology is useful, fostering empathy, awareness and willingness to provide sighted assistance among family, friends, coworkers and classmates is also key to smooth navigation of red-green color blindness.

Explain Your Specific Condition

Educate those close to you on what red-green color blindness looks like for you specifically - which hues are problematic, examples of when it causes obstacles, and how they can discreetly help you when needed. Increased allies makes daily life easier.

Share Stories Publicly

By opening up about your experiences on social media or within your circles, you help friends and community better understand this often "invisible" condition, which encourages more openness to providing assistance. Raise awareness.

Provide Accessibility Feedback

Respectfully provide companies, organizations and institutions with recommendations on how they could improve designs, products, and policies to increase accessibility for the red-green color blind. Your insight can influence change.

Request Aid Unabashedly

Don't be embarrassed to ask friends, family, coworkers for quick help interpreting charts, maps, diagrams etc. when your color blindness poses difficulty. Most sighted people are glad to assist when made aware it's needed.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude

In addition to practical adaptations, cultivating self-compassion, patience and focusing on strengths helps empower those with red-green color blindness to confidently navigate life and thrive.

Have Patience and Self-Compassion

When you make occasional mistakes due to color confusion, respond kindly to yourself as you would a loved one, with patience, understanding and encouragement. Don't let perfectionism add frustration. Progress incrementally.

Focus on Your Perceptual Positives

While you have difficulty with greens and reds, you likely excel in discerning textures, details, patterns and tones. Reframe weaknesses as strengths - you have unique and valuable perceptual talents.

Don't Let Confusion Inhibit Enjoyment

Don't allow uncertainty around colors to prevent you fully enjoying hobbies, interests and activities. Adapt creatively, use aids as needed, but pursue passions boldly. With support, red-green color blindness need not limit your zest for life.

Surround Yourself with Understanding

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


While red-green color blindness poses some difficulties in daily functioning, implementing adaptive strategies, leveraging technology, gaining sighted assistance when needed and maintaining a positive self-view empower those affected to confidently navigate life.

Specific accommodations allow full participation in school, work and activities. Aid like color-enhancing lenses and identifier apps foster independence. But compassion and community do wonders as well.

Rather than a disability, reframing red-green color blindness as a unique perspective with its own insights to offer allows those affected to recognize their perceptual capabilities and talents. With practical adaptations and the right outlook, red-green color vision deficiency need not inhibit someone from seeing and appreciating the world vividly.