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Color blindness is a common condition that affects roughly one in 12 men (8 percent) and one in 200 women throughout the world. Contrary to what its name may imply, color blindness is not a form of blindness at all. It is actually a deficiency in the way a person sees and interprets color. People who are color blind have a difficult time distinguishing specific colors, namely blue, yellow, red, and green. This is an inherited condition that affects men more frequently than women. Most people who are color blind have a red-green color deficiency, followed by blue-yellow color blindness. While the vast majority of people who are color blind develop the condition because of genetics, it is possible for color blindness to be caused by physical or chemical damage to the eye or the part of the brain that processes color. Over time, color vision may also decline with age or because of cataracts.
What is Color Blindness?
Individuals who are color blind are usually able to see things just as clearly as those with ‘normal’ vision, but they may have a hard time seeing red, green, or blue light fully. As mentioned, there are several different types of color blindness so it is important to distinguish between them. In some very rare cases, people are unable to see any color whatsoever.
Color blindness usually happens when one or more of a person’s color cone cells are missing or not working properly. Individuals with severe color blindness may have three cone cells that are not working properly, compared to those with mild color blindness that have all three cone cells, but one does not work. It should also be noted that there are different forms of color blindness; those with mild color deficiencies are able to see colors fine in good light but have a hard time distinguishing certain colors in dim light. Other people may have difficulty distinguishing colors in any light, and others see everything in various shades of grey.
Signs of Color Blindness
If you have a hard time telling if colors are red or green, or blue or yellow, you may have some level of color blindness. If others are constantly telling you that you are wrong when you point out a color, it may be a good idea to make an appointment with your Arlington eye doctor. Many people mistakenly believe that the most common version of color blindness is when people see only shades of grey, but this is simply not true. Most people can see color just fine, but certain colors appear washed out and can be confused with others. While there is no cure for color blindness, there are certain strategies to help people adapt to their color deficiencies. It is important to diagnose color blindness as early as possible, as it can help prevent learning problems during school and help individuals find a career path that does not rely on color (such as graphic design).
Please give First Eye Care a call today to schedule an appointment at our Arlington vision center. We are happy to discuss any concerns you may have and help you better understand common vision conditions such as color blindness.