Tips for Living with Color Blindness

When you’re colorblind, basic tasks like driving or picking a ripe apple can get a lot harder. But they don’t always have to be. From labeling your clothes to using apps, there are lot of ways you can make your life just a little easier.

Keep in mind that very few people are actually “colorblind.” It’s more common to be “color deficient,” where you might have trouble seeing some colors but not others. In that case, you might only need some of these tips, depending on what your color vision challenges are.

General Tips

For help on several fronts, you might want to:

  • Ask about special contact lenses or glasses. They won’t solve every problem or make you see normally, but check with your doctor to see how they might work for you.
  • Focus on lighting. If you can control the lighting in your house, cube, or office, do it. Plenty of bright, natural light is best, and try to avoid glare.
  • Use smartphone apps. They can name colors for you, make it easier to tell colors apart, and even show your friends and family how you see the world.

    Tips for Everyday Tasks

    Choosing clothes. When you go shopping, try an app to help you pick clothes. Some of these apps let you take a picture of the item and find out the color and its shade. Otherwise, you’ll need to count on friends, family, or a salesperson.

    Once you’re at home, you can use a system to know which clothes match. Ask a friend who’s not colorblind to help you label your clothes. You can also organize your closet by items that go together. Once it’s set up, you can manage it on your own.

    Cooking meat. Food safety experts will tell you that color isn’t the best way to judge when your steak is done. Or your roast, pork chops, turkey, or other meats.

    Your best bet is to get a thermometer and a chart that shows the right temperature for cooking different meats. For example, cook:

    • Chicken breast to 165 F
    • Hamburgers to 160 F
    • Medium-rare steak to 145 FTips for Living with Color Blindness
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