Color blindness is a condition that impacts the way you see or perceive color. This condition is an inherited one and is not painful but it may also be acquired later in life. The best strategy for dealing with the condition is by having your condition diagnosed by an experienced optometrist. For those in Colorado Springs, here is some information about color blindness, how often it occurs, who it affects and what ways (if any) it can be treated.
What is Color blindness?
Color blindness impacts roughly 8% of males and 1% of females at birth, according to the organization Prevent Blindness America. The condition impacts the way people see colors, although it does not necessarily take away their ability to see. The more common form of the condition is red-green color blindness.
Red-green are primary colors that appear in the color spectrum. A person suffering from red-green color blindness have a diminished ability to distinguish between different hues of red and green. This is due to a defect in the eye (weakened L-cones), which is genetic in nature and a condition passed from mothers to sons. This results in all colors appearing as a gradient (shade) of gray, black, white.
For a person with red-green color blindness, their ability to see color is not impacted by the absence of red and green from their color spectrum. As an example, a person who is taught that an apple is red who suffers from the condition knows that it is red because the shade of gray that is interpreted by the eye is always associated with red.
A rarer form of color blindness is a person’s inability to distinguish between hues of blue and yellow. This inherited form of color blindness is known as blue-yellow color blindness and has an effect on men and women equally. Red-green color blindness affects men disproportionately to women.
Is Being Colorblind Common?
As mentioned, red-green color blindness impacts men more than it does women. Based on the percentages provided by Prevent Blindness America, color blindness impacts approximately 1 out of every 8 to 10 males, while the condition has an effect on 1 out of every 100 women in the U.S.
On a global basis, 1 out of every 12 men and 1 out of every 200 women have some form of color blindness. The current estimate places the total world population that has color blindness at 2.7 million people.
The inherited form of color blindness has a greater impact on men than it does women. The condition also has a greater effect on males who are of Northern European descent than any other race. This would include those individuals whose ethnic heritage includes the countries of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and the U.K.
Age-related color blindness occurs more frequently among people who suffer from diseases such as diabetes, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and alcoholism (both acute and chronic). Certain medications may also trigger the loss of some color definition, particularly those medications used to treat any of those conditions listed above.
Problems from Color blindness
Eye exams may be a way to determine the existence of color blindness that is genetically-based or a condition that may have developed over time, as we age. Those at the greatest risk of developing color blindness as they get older are those individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis, or who suffer from any of the diseases listed in the previous section.
The assistance of an experienced eye doctor is a person’s best way to determine the extent of color blindness that exists, as well as address any concerns a person may have about their vision and quality of life as they age. It should be noted that having color blindness is in no way a death sentence or a condition that will lead to a person becoming completely blind. The artists Peter Milton and Claude Monet were colorblind and the condition had little impact on their life’s work or ability to teach art (as in the case of Milton).
Eye Exams in Colorado Springs
If a person suspects that they are susceptible to becoming colorblind or believes that they have the condition, a visit to a local eye care professional may provide insight and information necessary to manage the condition.