Color Blindness

Color Blindness

‘Color blindness’ is a form of deficiency in the way people see color. While most people share a common color vision sensory experience, some may experience colors differently known as Color Vision Deficiency (CVD). Severe forms of these deficiencies are categorized as color blindness and people living with it aren’t aware of differences between colors that may seem obvious for most.

A person with normal color vision can generally perceive up to 1 million different shades of colors. Normal color-sighted individuals (Trichromats) have three different color sensitive cones in their retina: red, green, and blue. Each of these red, green, and blue cones are sensitive to separate wavelengths of light which help to form color perception. The separation and overlap work together in such a way that it allows them to see all colors in the spectrum. A person with color vision deficiency may suffer from less separation or excessive overlap, resulting in the reduction in shades of color, the brightness of colors, and compromise of color perception. As a result, it is believed that a person with typical red-green color blindness often perceive only 10% as many shades of color as a person with normal color vision.

There are 3 types of colorblindness:

1: Protan Color Blindness:

Protanomaly is referred to as “red-weakness”, an apt description of this form of color deficiency. Any redness seen in a color by a normal observer can be harder to see by the protanomalous viewer

2: Deutan Color Blindness:

The deuteranomalous person is considered “green weak”. Similar to the protanomalous person, they have difficulty discriminating small differences in hues in the red, orange, yellow, green region of the spectrum

3: Tritan Color Blindness:

Tritanomaly, causing reduced blue sensitivity and Tritanopia, resulting in no blue sensitivity, can be inherited or acquired; the inherited form is a rare autosomal recessive condition

Many people who have a form of color blindness may not even realize it until it is pointed out to them. Color blindness comes in varying degrees and most people who are considered to be color blind can still see colors, but certain colors appear washed out and can easily be confused or blended with other colors. Color blindness is most commonly hereditary and affects mostly males. As a matter of fact, many forms of Color Vision Deficiency affect approximately 1 in 12 men (8%) and only 1 in 200 (0.5%) women, however, more women than men are carriers of color blindness, even though they are not colorblind themselves.

We check for color blindness as part of our new patient comprehensive eye exam. Give us a call if you have any concerns! 949-645-2250

Author
David Greening David Greening, ABOC, BS(HONS) Ophth. Dispensing David is our resident optician, and has been in optics since 2002. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing in Kent, England (2014). He has extensive experience, having managed his own practice for many years prior to arriving at Astorino & Associates Eye Center. He is a licensed American optician (ABOC) and is well-recognized for his quality of service, attention to detail, and patient care.

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