What is color blindness?
An accurate or deficient color vision that leads to an inability to see the difference between specific colors is called color blindness. People commonly use the term color blind for this condition but, the actual meaning of true color blindness is that everything is seen in black and white shades which is very rare. Most of the color blindness people can’t find the difference between the shades of red and green.
What are the types of color blindness?
Types of color blindness are;
- Red-green color blindness: when the red or green cones of photopigments won’t work.
- Blue-yellow color blindness: when the blue color cone pigments are missing or don’t work. This is the second most common type that affects males and females.
- Complete color blindness: doesn’t see any color also called monochromacy.
How does color blindness occur?
Usually, the cones have several pigments called photopigments so that the eyes can see all the possible colors. If there is a problem with these pigments, one can not see or differentiate the colors.
What are the causes of color blindness?
Some of the causes of color blindness are
- Inherited condition: color deficiencies are inherited from birth. Most commonly seen in males than in females
- Diseases like Glaucoma; Sickle cell anemia; Macular degeneration; Diabetes; Parkinson's disease; Leukemia; Alzheimer's disease; Multiple sclerosis; Chronic alcoholism can cause color blindness
- Certain medications that treat heart problems, hypertension, infections, erectile dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, nervous disorders, and psychological problems may cause color blindness
- Aging: ability to see colors declines slowly as age increases
- Chemicals: exposure to a few of the chemicals such as fertilizers, carbon disulfide may also cause color vision problems
- Cataract (clouding of the eye lens)
- Damage to the optic nerve
- Damage to brain part which process color information
What are the symptoms of color blindness?
Those who have color blindness can not be able to differentiate:
- Various shades of red and green
- Several shades of blue and yellow
- Difficulty in identifying colors
The most common color deficiency is unable to see some shades of red and green. Usually, an individual who is unable to differentiate red-green or blue-yellow isn't completely insensitive to both colors. These defects can be mild, moderate, or severe.
How can color blindness be diagnosed?
- Color blindness can be diagnosed by the Ishihara color test. In this, a figure or a number is embedded in the background filled with different types of colors. For a color blind deficient person, it is difficult to find the number or figure present in the background.
- Farnsworth test is also helpful to diagnose as the patient has to keep a large number of colored caps in a line according to different shades. This is hard for a color-blind person.
What is the treatment for colorblindness?
- There is no specific cure for inherited color blindness. If needed contact lenses and glasses can be available with different filters to help color deficiencies. These lenses may improve the perception of the difference between the confusing colors. But they won't enhance the ability to see all colors.
- Color blindness caused due to diseases may get better if the underlying disease condition can be treated.
- Discontinuing the use of medication that causes color vision problems may result in better color vision.