What is Color Blindness?
Color blindness is when you cannot see the difference between certain colors due to poor color vision. The condition of total color blindness causes a person to only see shades of black and white.
Men are more likely to be born colorblind than women. As reported from Prevent Blindness, it is estimated that as many as 8% of men and less than 1% of women have color blindness. The disease is mostly a hereditary condition that people are born with.
Most people with visual impairment are unable to distinguish between red and green colors. There are also people who have the inability to distinguish between blue and yellow colors, but this is less common.
Certain eye diseases, some medications, and aging can also cause color blindness. Clear eye lenses can turn dark and yellow over time. This is why older adults often have difficulty seeing dark colors.
Types of Color Blindness
Each type of color blindness causes different color vision problems. Below are some types of color blindness:
Red-Green Color Blindness
The most common type of color blindness is the difficulty of distinguishing between red and green colors. There are four types of red-green color blindness, including:
- Deuteranomaly is a mild vision impairment that makes the green color look redder, however usually not interfering with daily activity.
- Protanomaly is a mild vision impairment that makes the red color look greener and less bright, however usually not interfering with daily activity.
- Protanopia and Deuteranopia – both cause you to completely be unable to distinguish between red and green colors.
Blue-Yellow Color Blindness
This rare type of color blindness makes it difficult to distinguish between blue and green colors, as well as between yellow and red colors. There are two types of blue-yellow color blindness, including:
- Tritanomaly is a visual impairment that makes it difficult to distinguish between blue and green, as well as between yellow and red.
- Tritanopia is a visual impairment that makes it difficult to distinguish between blue and green, purple and red, and yellow and pink colors. This disorder also makes the color look less bright.
Total color blindness is a condition when you cannot see colors at all. This vision impairment is also called monochrome. Depending on the type, you may also have difficulty seeing objects clearly and are more sensitive to light.
Causes of Color Blindness
To see color across the spectrum of light is a complex process that begins with your eye’s ability to respond to different wavelengths of light.
If your eyes are normal, you can see colors. However, if your color receptor or cone cell lacks one or more chemicals that are sensitive to wavelengths, you will have trouble distinguishing between red, green, or blue colors.
There are several causes of color blindness, among others:
Genetic (hereditary) color blindness is more common in men than women. In general, they have red-green color blindness rather than blue-yellow. There are fewer people suffering from total color blindness. Inherited color blindness usually affects both eyes with a severity that generally remains constant throughout life.
Some diseases that can trigger color vision deficiency are sickle cell anemia, diabetes, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic alcoholism, and leukemia. Usually, vision impairment caused by disease tends to affect one eye rather than the other.
- Certain Medications
Some types of medications can change the quality of color vision, such as medications for certain autoimmune diseases, heart disease, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, infections, nervous disorders, and psychological disorders.
Color vision tends to fade with age.
- Chemical Exposures
Exposure to certain types of chemicals, such as carbon disulfide and fertilizers, can cause color blindness.
When to See a Doctor for Color Blindness
If you have difficulty seeing a particular color, you should consult an ophthalmologist. Your doctor will test if you have a color vision deficiency. You may be asked to undergo a comprehensive eye examination and be shown a special image made of colored dots that make up a number or shape.
If you have a color vision deficiency, you will have difficulty or are unable to see some patterns formed from these colored dots.
Symptoms of Color Blindness
You may not be aware of experiencing color vision deficiency. You may only realize it when you are confused about distinguishing certain colors.
For example, when you have trouble distinguishing the color of a traffic light or when you have trouble distinguishing objects that use color as a code. People with color blindness may not be able to distinguish red from green, blue to yellow, or all colors.
The most common type of color blindness is the inability to distinguish red and green colors. Often, people who are colorblind with red-green or blue-yellow are not fully sensitive to both colors. These vision defects can be mild, moderate, or severe.
Treatment for Color Blindness
There is no cure for most color blindness, except color vision impairment due to certain medications or eye diseases. Discontinued medication treatment or treatment of the underlying eye diseases may improve the quality of your color vision.
Wearing a colored filter over the eyeglasses or contact lenses may improve your perception of contrast between colors that seem confusing. However, such lenses will not improve your ability to see all colors.
Treatment Cost for Color Blindness
As mentioned earlier, there is no cure for genetic color blindness, but you can take a color blindness test at a fairly affordable price.
The estimated cost may vary, depending on the causes of color blindness – whether due to certain diseases or medications.
To find out the estimated cost for colorblind treatment at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Color Blindness
You cannot prevent color blindness that is hereditary. However, you can reduce the chances of experiencing color blindness in the future. It is recommended that you get regular eye examinations with your ophthalmologist and implement a healthy lifestyle. This can help reduce the risk of color blindness.
Home Remedies for Color Blindness
Below are some home remedies to help overcome color blindness:
- Benefiting technology
There are apps on mobile phones and digital devices that can help you identify every color.
- Memorize the order of colored objects
If you want to know the colors one by one, memorize the sequence. For example, when you see a traffic light, you can memorize the sequence, which is red on top, yellow in the middle, and green below.
- Label the colored items you want to match with other items
Ask someone with normal vision to help you sort and label your clothes. Then, arrange your clothes in the wardrobe according to color so that you can combine the colors of clothes more easily.
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