Color Blind: Types, Causes & How to Overcome

Color blindness is a condition in which a person’s eyes are unable to capture certain colors. Someone who has color vision problems will have difficulty seeing red, green, blue or a mixture of colors. It is very rare that a sufferer of this disease does not see colors at all even though there is also a type of color blindness that makes a person only able to see black, white, and gray.

Color vision problems like these can change someone’s life, for example it might make it harder for someone to study and read, and may not be able to reach certain careers or jobs. But children and adults who suffer from vision problems can learn to adjust the problem of seeing colors. If you want to know more complete information about the types and ways to overcome color blindness, you can read about it in this article.

Causes of Color Blindness

Most color vision problems are inherited from parental genes and begin at birth. That is, a person can suffer from this disease because he inherited the color-blinded gene from his parents.

Humans have three types of cone cells in the eye, red, green, or blue cone cells. We can see colors when cone cells get the sensation of capturing light in different amounts from these three basic colors. The highest concentration of cone cells is found in the macula, which is the middle part of the retina.

Color vision problems occur when a person does not have one type of cone cell or one of the cone cells does not work properly. The effect is that a person cannot see one of the three basic colors, or may see a color that is different from the actual color.

The type of color that cannot be seen by someone suffering from this disease will not change from time to time. If from the beginning unable to see the color green, then forever that person will have difficulty seeing the color green.

Although most cases of visual impairment are caused by a person inheriting a color-blind gene from his parents, color vision problems are not always inherited. In some cases, a person can have a color blind problem because it is found suddenly in the course of his life. This can be caused by several things. The causes of this visual impairment are:

  • Aging
  • Eye problems, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, retinopathy due to hypertension or retinopathy due to diabetes
  • Eye injury
  • Side effects of some drugs.

Color Blind Type

Types of color blindness can be categorized into 2 categories namely partial color blindness and total color blindness. The following is the explanation.

  • Partial Color Blindness

The most common type of color blindness is caused by the loss or decrease in the ability of the protan (which regulates red sensitivity) or deutran (which regulates green sensitivity). Such cases are referred to as red-green color blindness.

Blue-yellow color blindness is a more rare type when compared to red-green. The tritan or photopigment that controls the blue color sensitivity decreases or loses its ability.

  • Total Color Blindness

People who suffer from total color blindness or monochromacy cannot see colors at all and the clarity of their vision is also affected. There are two types of monochromacy:

Monochromated cones are a rare form of visual impairment which results in failure of two of the three photopigment cells in the eye cone to work. There are red cone monochromacy, green cone monochromacy, and blue cone monochromacy.

Acromatopsia is the rarest and most severe type of color blindness. Born from birth, the inability to see color is due to no cone cells that can work. People who suffer from this disease see the world in black, white, and gray.

Symptoms of Color Blindness

Symptoms of color blindness or color vision problems vary, including:

  • A person suffering from this disease may be able to see some colors but not with others. For example, people with color blindness may not be able to distinguish between red and green but can see blue and yellow easily.
  • A color blind person sees a different color unconsciously from the color seen by the eyes of those who do not suffer it.
  • A person who is color blind may only see a few shades, while some people can see thousands of colors.
  • In rare cases, some people only see black, white, and gray.

Color Blind Diagnosis

Test to measure how well you recognize different colors, usually with an ishihara card. On one test on the Ishihara sheet, you will see a set of colored dots and try to find patterns in them, such as letters or numbers. Patterns that are seen by normal people will form certain letters or numbers, whereas in sufferers, these patterns can form different sequences or numbers, or it does not form patterns.

In another type of color blindness test, you are given a color chip, then you are given the opportunity to give the same color chip. People with color vision problems can not adjust the color chip correctly.

Because color vision problems can have a large impact on a person’s life, it is important to detect this color blind problem as early as possible. In children, color vision problems can affect learning ability and reading speed. In addition, color vision problems can limit certain job or career choices. Most experts recommend checking colors in children between the ages of 3-5 years, at least once before entering school. This color test blindness is also often given to those who want to apply for jobs in certain fields.

How to Overcome Color Blindness

How to deal with color blindness is often asked by several people who have colleagues or relatives who have color blindness. However, unfortunately, visual abnormalities in the form of being unable to distinguish the inherited color cannot be treated or corrected.

For the type of color blindness that often occurs, namely red-green color blindness, no treatment is needed, because the eyes function normally to see. A person may not even realize that color blindness is only red or green, unless there is an opportunity to make him realize that the colors seen are different from others.

Vision disorders in the form of not being able to distinguish colors that are not inherited can be treated, depending on the cause. For example, if a cataract causes problems with color vision, surgery to remove the cataract can restore normal color vision.

You can find several ways to overcome color blindness, for example:

  • Wearing colored contact lenses. This can help you see the difference between colors. But this lens does not provide normal color vision and can distort objects.
  • Wear anti-ultraviolet glasses. People with severe color vision problems can see the difference between better colors when the light is dimmer or not glare.
  • Learn to look for light-dark cues or laying things instead of color. For example, you can learn the order of three colored lights in traffic. Red is above, yellow is in the middle, green is below. That way people with color blindness are not difficult to be on the highway.

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