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Color Blindness - An Overview

Color blindness is also known as 'color deficiency' and 'poor color vision'. It happens when the pigments in the cones of the eye have a problem. The eye faces trouble seeing colors.

In some cases, if a single pigment is missing, the eye might have problem seeing the specific color. But if all the pigments are missing in the cones, the eye will not see any color at all. This severe condition is known as achromatopsia.

Causes of Color Blindness

Mostly, the lack of pigments in the cones of the eye cause color blindness. This genetic condition is more common in men compared to women.

Several other causes that increase the risk of color blindness include: aging, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease , leukemia as well as intake of some drugs that treat psychological problems, high blood pressure, heart disease and so on.

Symptoms of Color Blindness

The symptoms of color blindness vary from person to person, as one may be able to see some colors while the other may not. For some, red and green may be the same color but he or she can identify the difference between yellow and blue. There can also be the possibility of seeing different shades of color.

In some cases, only black, white and grey are visible.

Diagnosis of Color Blindness

The doctor may conduct some tests to diagnose color blindness.

  • In the first test, the doctor may askthe patient to make a pattern of alphabet or number with sets of colored dots.
  • In the second test, the doctor may ask patient to arrange chips of similar colors.

These tests will help the doctor know which color goes unidentified by the person.

In some cases, eyes exams and vision screening is also recommended.

Treatment of Color Blindness

The color blindness cannot be treated but it can be corrected in some ways:

  • By wearing contact lens
  • By wearing color filter eyeglasses

Research suggests that gene replacement techniques can also help in modifying color deficiency.

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