What do color blind people see?


Color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency, is a condition in which a person cannot see colors normally with both eyes. It is a group of conditions that affect color perception, including red-green color blindness, blue-yellow color blindness, and blue cone monochrome.

Red-green color vision defects, the most common form of color vision deficiency, affect approximately one in 12 men and one in 200 women of Northern European descent .

Roman Donar / Getty Images


The retina is responsible for color detection. The retina is made up of two photoreceptor cells known as rods and cones . While rods detect brightness and darkness, cones detect color. There are three types of colored cone cells: red, green, and blue. The brain uses the data from these cones to determine our perception of color.

Color blindness occurs when one or more cells in a colored cone are missing, not working, or showing a different color than normal. When cells are missing from one or all of the color cones, mild to severe color blindness occurs.

Color blindness also varies in severity. Severe color blindness occurs when all three cells of the cone are missing. Mild color blindness occurs when all three cells of the cone are present, but one cell of the cone does not function properly.

Some people with mild color vision deficiencies can see colors normally in good lighting, but have difficulty in dim light. Others cannot distinguish certain colors in any light.

The most severe form of color blindness, in which everything is visible in shades of gray, is rare. Color blindness usually affects both eyes equally and remains stable throughout life.

A significant change in color vision may indicate a more serious medical condition and should be examined by a doctor .

People are usually born color blind, but some can become color blind at a later age. Color blindness can occur if your eyes or the part of your brain that helps you see color are damaged. This may be due to :

Color vision can also deteriorate with aging, especially with cataracts , cloudy areas of the eye. These cases are called acquired color vision disorders.

Types of color blindness

There are different types of color blindness and each affects the way you see color. Each cone contains a specific pigment (a photopigment called opsin) that is more sensitive to specific wavelengths of light .

The brain combines the inputs from all three types of cones to provide normal color vision. Mutations in genes that provide instructions for making the three opsin pigments in cones cause various forms of color blindness.

Red-green color blindness

The most common type of color blindness is red and green color blindness. In this state, it is very difficult to distinguish red from green.

Cones with opsin derived from OPN1LW are called long wavelength cones or L-cones, while cones with opsin derived from OPN1MW are called medium sensitivity or M cones, and cones with opsin derived from OPN1SW are called short. -sensitive to wavelength or S-cones.

Genetic changes associated with the OPN1LW or OPN1MW genes cause red-green color blindness due to the absence of L or M cones or the production of abnormal opsin pigments in these cones that affect red-green color vision.

There are four types of red-green color blindness:

  • Deuteranomaly occurs when the M cones of the eye are present but not functioning. This makes the greens appear red.
  • Protanomaly occurs when the L-cones of the eye are present but not functioning. This makes the reds appear green.
  • Protanopia occurs when the L-cones of the eye are absent. It does not allow you to perceive the red light.
  • Deuteranopia occurs when the M eye cones are absent. It does not allow the perception of green light.

Blue and yellow color blindness

A less common type of color blindness is blue-yellow color blindness, also known as a tritan defect. It affects men and women alike. Blue-yellow color blindness affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. This disease makes it difficult to distinguish between blue and green, yellow and red, blue and black.

There are two types of blue-yellow color blindness:

  • Tritanomaly makes it difficult to distinguish between blue and green, as well as between yellow and red.
  • Tritanopia does not allow you to distinguish between blue and green, purple and red, yellow and pink. It also makes the colors less vivid.

Red-green and blue-yellow color blindness affects color perception, but does not affect visual acuity.

Monochrome blue cone

This type is unusual and more serious because you won't be able to see any color shades at all. People with this type of color blindness have additional vision problems, such as increased sensitivity to light ( photophobia ), involuntary eye movements ( nystagmus ), and myopia (myopia).

Blue cone monochromaticity is sometimes considered a form of achromatopsia, a disorder characterized by the partial or complete absence of color vision combined with other vision problems. Monochromatic blue affects approximately one in 100,000 people worldwide and is more common. in men than in women .

What do color blind people see?

What color blind people see differs depending on the type and degree of color blindness. People with red-green color blindness naturally have greater color vision than those with blue-yellow or complete color blindness.

Normal color vision versus protanopia

Irena Kuznetsova / Getty Images

People with protanopia are red blind and see more green than red. Red colors are difficult for them to distinguish.

Normal color vision versus deuteranopia

Irina Kuznetsova / Getty Images

People with deuteranopia see more red than green. They find it difficult to distinguish the colors associated with green.

Normal color vision versus blue-yellow color blindness

Irina Kuznetsova / Getty Images

People with tritanopia are blue blind. They find it difficult to distinguish the colors associated with blue.

Normal color vision versus monochromatic blue cone

People with a monochromatic blue cone don't see the color at all. They see everything in black and white.

How to adjust

Living with color blindness can be difficult, especially when performing daily tasks that require distinctive colors, such as looking at traffic lights. Examples of some of the daily activities that affect people with color blindness:

  • Driving
  • Dress
  • Cooking
  • Use gadgets

However, it is possible to lead a normal life with color blindness by changing some of your daily routines, including:

  • Memorize daily activities. Activities like driving a car can be difficult, especially when you come to a stoplight. You can memorize the position of the light source to tell you what to do when the color changes position.
  • Change of lighting in your home or office. Their eyes cannot distinguish colors in the dark, so working in a dark or dimly lit house makes it difficult to perceive color in color blindness. Try using fluorescent lamps to decorate your home or office.
  • Marking your clothes. Changing your everyday clothes can be tedious if you are color blind and that is why it is important that you accept the tagging system. Using colored labels can help you get more of your daily activities done in less time.
  • Using the other four senses. We have five senses and sight is only one of them. We still have our sense of smell, touch, taste, and hearing. Cooking in the kitchen is easier relying on other ways. Alternatively, picking fresh fruit from the grocery store can be based on your sense of smell and touch.
  • Turn on the accessibility button on your phone. Many modern devices have an accessibility feature that people with disabilities can use on their phones. Enabling this option on your TV or phone can make it easier to use. Downloading apps designed for people with color blindness can also help

EnChroma glasses can help some color blind people regain some of their color acuity. If you have color blindness, talk to your doctor about how to treat color blindness .

Get the word of drug information

Living with color blindness can be difficult, but not impossible. There are many ways to adapt and deal with this. By changing your daily routine and using the right tools, you can lead a normal life and prevent color blindness from interfering with your daily life. …

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