What is it?

Color deficiency, or color blindness, is when someone is unable to distinguish certain colors or shades of colors. The most common form of this condition is the inability to differentiate between specific shades of reds and greens. Less common is the ability to differentiate specific shades of blues and yellows.

In extremely rare cases, the person can see no colors at all, seeing only in shades of black/white/gray.

How does it happen?

Your eyes contain cone cells, which help you perceive colors. If you have color deficiency, it means that not all of these cone cells are working properly. In some cases, you may be missing necessary cones, which can affect the severity of your condition.

Color deficiency is often a hereditary condition, although it has been linked to certain medications, diseases, or chemical exposure.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of color deficiency are simply not being able to perceive certain colors.

What are my risk factors?

Studies show that color deficiency most often occurs in Caucasian males. The condition is typically hereditary, but you may be at a greater risk of developing some degree of color deficiency if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Alcoholism

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Typically, color deficiency can be diagnosed through the use of Pseudoisochromatic testing plates. You would be asked to look at a series of dots. Anyone with normal color vision will be able to spot a number that is made up of different colored dots than the surrounding ones. Someone with color deficiency will have difficulty being able to see any number.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for color deficiency. Wearing colored glasses may help improve your ability to differentiate between colors. Many with this condition utilize labeling or remembering the order of things (such as a stoplight) in order to work around the colors.

How can I prevent it from happening?

Since this condition is typically hereditary or associated with other diseases, there is no way to prevent it from occurring.

If you are experiencing similar symptoms to color deficiency, contact us today.