A very common question we get in regards to eyecare has to do with color blindness. Not only do people ask "What is colorblindness"?, but we get all different questions on the severity of color blindness, and what it looks like to have color blindness. So we created this quick article to address some of those questions and give some better insight. First off,
What is Color Blindness?
Color blindness is a very misleading term because less than 1% of all cases actually results in full "blindness" of color. (meaning the patients can only see in black and white). In reality, most people who suffer from "color blindness" actually have a "color deficiency". That means that they have trouble distinguishing colors, rather than not being able to see them all. There are some universal patterns across the board that optometrists see; those are blue and yellow and red and green.
Color blindness effects just around 8% of all males in the United States and just under 1% of all females.
What are the symptoms of Color Blindness?
Like i previously mentioned, the symptoms of color blindness is the inability to distinguish colors from each other.
There are tests you can take to determine if you have color blindness. (called the Ishihara Color Test). The test will be comprised of a series of different images with mini circles and shapes. The mini circles and shapes will be slightly different colors that will allow people who are NOT color blind to see the hidden images, and those who ARE colorblind to not see them. If you want to take a color blindness test, check out this website. - http://www.colour-blindness.com/colour-blindness-tests/ishihara-colour-test-plates/. Here is an example of what one of the images looks like -
What Causes Color Blindness?
The scientific reasoning behind color blindness is this: light sensitive cells in the retina fail to respond appropriately to variations in wavelengths of light that enable people to see an array of colors. In your eye you have rods, and cones, both of which are photoreceptors. The cones are what enable the brain to perceive color, so a color deficiency means that you have a problem with the cones in the macula of the eye.
However, there are some degenerative conditions that can lead to color blindness. These include Parkinsons disease, Cataracts, or Kallman's disease.
If you have any more questions or concerns please leave a comment below.