People may not be able to distinguish different colors or confuse them, which is called color blindness. In general, it is not possible to distinguish between red and green, and in some cases, it is not possible to distinguish between blue and yellow. Color blindness affects more men than women, affecting 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women worldwide.
What are the problems with color blindness?
Depending on the severity, color blindness affects daily life and can sometimes be at risk, such as not being able to distinguish colors in traffic lights.
Mild color blindness can be discovered accidentally. For example, you thought it was a brown dress, but your friend says that the red dress is cool. This shift in perspective can be confusing and shocking. Because you know that the colors you see are different from the real thing. In this case, it is recommended that you have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.
What causes color blindness?
Color blindness is caused by a problem with the pigment in the eye. The retina (the back of the eye) contains cells called rods and cones that respond to light. Rods have pigments (photopigments) that respond to different wavelengths of light. If all cones contain the correct pigment, vision is normal, but if any one of them is abnormal, you may not be able to distinguish certain colors properly.
When the cones have no pigment at all, this is called complete color blindness, and in this case, you cannot distinguish colors at all, which is rare. If the green photopigment is not functioning properly, you may have red/green color blindness. That said, it can be difficult to differentiate between red, brown, green and orange.
Who is vulnerable to color blindness?
Colorblind contacts can have a variety of factors, but most are hereditary. This means that they are often inherited from their parents. Other factors include:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
- Other disorders – cataract (clouding of the lens), glaucoma (a series of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve)
- Eye injury
- Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
- Senile color blindness
Hereditary color blindness affects both eyes, but sometimes only one eye.
How to test for color blindness?
There are screening tests to diagnose color blindness, and in-depth tests to determine the type and severity of color blindness. The Ishihara color blindness test is usually used to diagnose color blindness. In other words, a picture book with a mixture of colors is used to determine the patient’s ability to distinguish colors. A picture is a collection of dots of different colors and sizes. Inside the various colors are placed numbers or shapes. People who are colorblind may have difficulty discerning numbers or shapes, or may not be able to see at all.