Specialized glasses help North Olmsted sixth-grader see colors for the first time

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio - Roughly six percent of the male population - and less than one percent of the female population - suffer from colorblindness.

It isn’t a deficiency that is debilitating, but it can be frustrating.

For 11-year-old Andreas Koerber, reds and greens are mixed up, blues and purples are difficult to differentiate. The world, as he sees it, is generally more drab.

The North Olmsted sixth-grader and his family didn’t know there was a fix, until recently.

Now, his eyes are open to an entirely new world after the discovery of specialized glasses.

“Everything is more colorful, it’s brighter, it’s not as dark,” Andreas said.

He realized he was colorblind at age five. It’s one of the biggest differences between him and his twin brother Luke. Luke is the one who had the idea to surprise Andreas with the glasses after learning about them online.

“He’s my brother and really, it doesn’t feel fair that I get to see all the colors and he doesn’t,” Luke said. “I didn’t really realize how bad it was and what he wasn’t seeing.”

For mom Rita Koerber, watching Andreas see colors for the first time was eye-opening.

“It was just this totally special, emotional moment,” Rita said. "Kind of like Christmas when you have little kids and you’re seeing that through their eyes and they’re so excited, it was like that."

The glasses run upwards of $500 and are not covered by insurance. After trying them on at Eyetique in Eton Center, Rita immediately had them special-ordered.

“It’s like, how do you put a price tag on that? His face was just smiling nonstop for two days,” she said.

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