- by Dr Leslie Ravi Kumar
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- Jul 07 2017
Color Blindness-Problem in the way you see color?
Color blindness is not a form of blindness at all, but a deficit in the way you see color. With this vision disorder, you have trouble differentiating specific colors, such as yellow and blue or green and red.
Color blindness (or, more precisely, color vision deficiency) is an inherited disorder that affects males more commonly than females. As per Prevent Blindness America, an approximate 8 % of males and less than 1 % of females have color vision issues.
Red-green color deficiency is the most frequent form of color blindness.
Much more rarely, a person may inherit a characteristic that lessens the capability to see blue and yellow shades. This blue-yellow color deficiency generally affects men and women equally.
Inherited color blindness is caused by unusual photopigments. These color-identifying molecules are situated in cone-shaped cells within the retina, called cone cells. In humans, various genes are required for the body to make photopigments, and imperfection in these genes can lead to color blindness.
Types of color blindness
There are 3 main kinds of color blindness, established on photopigment defeciencies in the 3 different kinds of cones that respond to red, green and blue light. Red-green color blindness is the most frequent, followed by blue-yellow color blindness. A complete lack of color vision —total color blindness – is unusual.
Sometimes color blindness can be caused by chemical or physical harm to the eye, the optic nerve, or segments of the brain that operate color information. Color vision can also reduce with age, most often because of cataract - a muddling and yellowing of the eye’s lens.
Colour blindness is a generally a genetic (hereditary) disorder (you are born with it). Red/green and blue color blindness is generally passed down from your parents. The gene which is responsible for the problem is carried on the X chromosome and this is the reason why many more men are impacted than women.
Some individuals also obtain the disorder as a result of long-standing diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, some liver disorders and almost all eye diseases.
The effects of colour vision deficiency can be mild, moderate or severe depending upon the deficiency. If you have inherited colour blindness your problem will remain the same all through your life – it won’t get any better or worse.
Color blindness symptoms and signs
Do you have trouble telling if colors are yellow and blue, or green and red? Do other people sometimes tell you that the color you think you are seeing is wrong?
If so, these are foremost signs that you have a color vision deficit.
Contradictory to popular opinion, it is rare for a color blind person to see only in shades of gray.
Most people who are considered "color blind" can see colors, but specific colors appear wiped out and are easily perplexed with other colors, depending on the kind of color vision deficiency they have.
How is color blindness diagnosed?
Eye care specialists use a range of tests to detect color blindness. These tests can quickly diagnose certain types of color blindness.
The newer Cambridge Color Test
The most common test for red-green color blindness is The Ishihara Color Test.
The Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test
The HRR Pseudoisochromatic Color Test
Treatments for color blindness
There is no cure for color blindness. However, individuals with red-green color blindness may be able to use a special set of lenses to assist them recognize colors more precisely. These lenses can only be used outdoors under bright lighting surroundings. Visual supports have also been developed to aid people manage with color blindness.
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