What is Color Blindness?
A few groups of people have difficulty in identifying colors and often misinterpret certain colors unaware to themselves.
This condition is known as Color Blindness. It is a condition in which a person finds it difficult to identify and visualize the colors red, green or blue or a mix of these colors. It is also known as CVD or Color Vision Deficiency.
What causes Color Blindness?
Most cases of color blindness are present since birth i.e. the condition is genetic and is transmitted from parents to their children. Cone cells in the macula of the eye are responsible for identifying color. The gene that is responsible for the development of these cells undergoes genetic mutations or abnormalities causing the cone cells to misinterpret colors.
Color Blindness can also be acquired due to the following:
- Injury to the Eye
- Medicinal Side Effects
- Eye Conditions – Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Cataract
Types of Color Blindness
Based on the difficulty in identifying the color, it is categorized as –
- Protanomoly – Difficulty in identifying red and orange color
- Protanopia – Red appears black, completely blind for red
- Deuteranomoly – Difficulty in identifying yellow and green color
- Deuteranopia – completely blind for yellow and green color
Symptoms of Color Blindness
Symptoms vary from person to person and based on types. The most common symptoms include:
- Difficulty identifying the difference between red, yellow, orange, brown and green
- Appreciates colors in a faded manner
- Difficulty to distinguish shades of purple
- Confuses red with black
- Appreciates all colors as black, white and gray
How is Color Blindness diagnosed?
An ophthalmologist usually undertakes the following diagnostic tests.
- Ishihara’s chart – Book with numbers within different colored dots and patient will be asked to identify the numbers
- Arranging different colored objects as per the guidelines given
Life with Color Blindness
Color Blind individuals can lead a complete normal life except in those situations or conditions which necessitates them to differentiate colors.
The common problems encountered are –
- Difficulty at school if colors are used for learning
- Problem in identifying food based on color
- Difficulty in reading the label of the medicines
- Trouble in reading out warning and safety signs
- Limited career opportunities
Treatment for Color Blindness
There is no treatment for inherited color blindness. In case of acquired, treating the cause forms the mainstay of treatment. Tips that is helpful in this condition –
- Inform the teachers in school about your child’s condition
- Seek help from family and friends for color identification
- Use technology – different apps are available that helps you in understanding the color involved
- Visual aids in the form of colored lenses is a recent advancement
Color blindness is a disorder or a condition and not a disease; one can lead a normal life and be just as happy.
Be more than well. Be well prepared.