What is Color Blindness?
Color blindness is a state where the eyes cannot visualize colors in a normal way. It is also known as color deficiency and happens when colors cannot be distinguished. Green, reds, and in rare cases blue hues cannot be distinguished by people having this eye condition. Color blindness affects both eyes. There are different types of color blindness namely
- Red-green color blindness where it is difficult to know the difference between red and green.
- Blue-yellow color blindness: Blue and yellow colors are hard to differentiate
- Complete color blindness: No colors are seen at all.
Color Blindness Symptoms
The symptoms for this condition varies from mild to severe. People who have mild symptoms don’t even know that they have this deficiency. Especially this goes undetected in kids until they start learning colors. The common signs are:
- Unable to tell the different shades of the same colors. It happens mostly between blue and yellow or green and blue.
- Inability to see colors the way normal people see.
People who have a severe form of this condition where they are incapable of seeing any color suffer from a condition called Achromatopsia. It is a rare condition and has symptoms like:
- Poor vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Lazy eye or amblyopia
Consult a Color Blindness doctor if you have the above symptoms.
Who is at Risk?
The Color blindness risk factors are:
- Men are more prone to have this condition at birth than women.
- Northern European descent men are at a higher risk of this eye condition.
- People with medical conditions like diabetes, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell anemia, leukemia are at a higher risk.
- People who are chronic alcoholics have a high likelihood of developing this condition.
- People who use medications that cure Plaquenil increases the risk of getting colorblind. Certain medications that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can also develop this condition.
Color Blindness Causes
Color blindness is a hereditary problem and is a genetic condition. The causes are:
- People are born with this condition usually and are passed down by their parents.
- It is caused due to a gene on the Chromosome X and hence it affects more men than women.
- It is a defect that is passed from mother to son,
- In this defect, the retina lacks or has no cones at all. These cones are the ones that aid in distinguishing blue, green, and red colors.
It can also be caused later in life due to:
- Vascular disease
- Metabolic disease
- Effects of certain drugs
How is Color Blindness Diagnosed?
If you have trouble seeing colors properly a color blindness diagnosis may be required. Some of the tests that are conducted to check for the same are:
- Ishihara color test: The person will be asked to look at a series of plates with different colored dots. These dots form numbers or shapes. If it is hard to see green and red, you may be color blind.
- Cambridge color test: This is done using a computer screen and you will have to press certain keys when the ‘C’ shape of different colors pops.
- Anomaloscope: This is a color blindness test to check for trouble viewing red and green.
- Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test: This is a test to check if sight color changes are visible.
How is Color Blindness Treated?
- There is no color blindness treatment at least for the ones that are genetically passed down. People have to find different ways to deal with it and adjust to living with it. Though there is no color blindness cure it does not cause serious problems.
- If the color blindness is due to an underlying medical condition the doctor will treat the problem.
- If the medicine is causing color blindness, the doctor adjusts the dosage or prescribes a different medicine.
- There is no medicine for color blindness, Special glasses and contact lens are there which helps in differentiating colors.
Get your eyes tested from our ophthalmologist at Cure.fit, if you have symptoms of color blindness. They will suggest the best treatment option based on the severity and type of condition.
How can Color Blindness be prevented?
For color blindness prevention one has to look at how it is developed. If the reasons for Color Blindness are from birth, then management is the only option. If it is developed after some time then contact a doctor to know if it is:
- Optic nerve disease which is a disorder of the tissue
- Stroke of the eye which is blockage of the arteries.
- Get your eyes regularly checked to prevent muscular degeneration and cataract which can cause color blindness.
- Many apps and visual aids can help you live with this condition.
- Limit exposure to toxic chemicals like lead as it can produce color blindness.