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    It’s not easy seeing green


    But on the upside, at least I now knew what I was dealing with and proceeded to adjust. I learned that my red-green weakness makes it more difficult for me to sort out light-gray choroidal nevi from reddish-orange retinal pigment, especially with the bright lights of indirect ophthalmoscopy. The perspective and less intense brightness of traditional fundus photography helped by increasing contrast, and the broader field of view and digital filters of modern ultra-widefield imaging (UWF) helped even more.

    Of course, whenever I personally test a patient with pseudoisochromatic plates, I have to use one hand to hold the test booklet and flip the pages and the other to hold the little table containing the correct answers. I was testing a young boy one time and his mother spotted me eyeing my “cheat sheet.” She gave me a little grin and wink, as if to say: Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me.

    Related: 10 tips to surviving an insurance audit

    I’ve spent my professional life trying to explain to others how we color-deficients aren’t truly “color blind.” I don’t even like the word “deficient.” I prefer to believe that we are more efficient in our color perception, bundling together large, unwieldy numbers of various wavelengths into smaller, neater packages of photons, a point that was completely lost on the cop who pulled me over that time for running a traffic light.

    Being green

    Back in New York, Elphaba embraced her true identity and started proudly flying her emerald freak flag in Act 1’s closing number, “Defying Gravity.” The stage was saturated with enough mid-range visible wavelengths of light that even my tired, old chromatically-challenged cones finally fired a clear, unmistakable burst of green.

    The moral of the musical is that life is not always black and white but sometimes many shades of gray. Yeah, tell me something I didn’t already know.

     Read more from Dr. Brown here

    Michael Brown, OD, MHS-CL, FAAO
    Dr. Brown has practiced medical optometry in a comanagement center and with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in ...


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