Color blindness is a blanket term that is used to describe a number of different visual issues. For some patients, certain hues and tones appear washed out or blurry. Others can’t differentiate between two or more colors. These are both types of color blindness.
The genes that are responsible for most forms of color blindness are carried by the X chromosome, and that is one of the reasons why men are much more likely to have this condition. Males have a single X chromosome paired with a Y chromosome, while women have two X chromosomes. For females, one of the X chromosomes can usually compensate for any deficiencies in the other.
Some rare forms of color blindness are caused by outside factors such as acute trauma, but it is usually the result of a genetic disorder. A handful of these genetic disorders affect the optic nerves or lenses, while others impact the way that the brain interprets colors.
Diagnosing Color Blindness
This condition is usually diagnosed using the Ishihara color test. You should be tested for color blindness at least once in your life, and that test can be carried out at a very young age. If you weren’t tested as a child, then you should ask one of our eye doctors to carry out the Ishihara color test during your next eye exam.
Here at Matossian Eye Associates, we prefer to test one eye at a time to make sure that one of the eyes isn’t compensating for the other. This pain-free test can be completed in a matter of minutes, and you will receive the results immediately. During the Ishihara color test, you are going to be shown a number of slides in various colors. Those who are color blind won’t be able to see certain numbers and designs on the slides.
Weakened Rods and Cones
Inside your retinas, there are millions of rods and cones. Your rods are responsible for identifying shapes, changes in lighting, and movement. They contain only one type of pigment, and that means that aren’t good at identifying colors.
Most of the cones are found in the central macula of the retina, and they are supposed to differentiate between blue, green, and red. When blue, green, and red light waves enter the cones, signals are sent to the area of the brain where colors are identified and processed. Patients who are color blind may be missing certain cones or have damaged cones.
Interesting Fact: Facebook’s flagship color is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green color blind and blue is the easiest color for him to see.
Treating Color Blindness
Most forms of color blindness can’t be cured, but we can help patients manage the effects with a variety of treatments and products. Options such as Enchroma glasses filter out certain colors in order to “trick” the cones into seeing other colors.
If you haven’t been tested for color blindness, then please contact our office today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.