Color Blind Eye Care by Ewing Optical

What Does It Mean To Be Colorblind?

Perhaps because of the relatively small population of those that are colorblind, there are many misconceptions about the condition. Most have some kind of theory or idea of what they believe colorblindness to be but most times, they are incorrect. The most common perception is that people that are colorblind cannot see any color. While this is a true condition that exists, known as monochromacy, it is the rarest form of colorblindness.

Colorblindness is usually a hereditary bestowment that causes retinal cells to incorrectly process colors. Through rods and cones, we are able to see detail and color. Cone cells in the retina, which are responsible for color vision, fail to send accurate signals to the brain, resulting in a person being colorblind. There are 3 types of cone cells, red, green and blue that determine the degree of colorblindness. Men are more likely to be colorblind due to the recessive gene on the X chromosome, which is the main cause of colorblindness. It can also be caused by disease, poisoning and as the side effect of some medications.


Red-green color blindness is the most common form of colorblindness. This is when the red and green cones are not working, resulting in an outcome of brown-yellow colors. Reds can appear dull and greens, oranges and browns can all appear to look the same, discernible only by the intensity of the shade. Reds and greens can also be mistaken for the same color. This kind of colorblindness is also known as Deuteranopia sight.


Blue-yellow colorblindness is very uncommon and makes people unable to tell between blue and green, purple and red, or even yellow and pink. It also makes others see colors different in the light so if it is dim, then they see these colors differently than what they will see in regular natural light. This type of colorblindness results in a landscape of teals, pinks and browns. This kind of colorblindness is also known as Tritanopia sight.

Though vision is not affected by colorblindness, only perception of color, there is no known cure for the condition if genetically inherited. If disease or medication has caused the disorder, it can sometimes be treated. Colorblindness is typically determined early on when children are learning colors and having trouble making the distinction. The Ishihara test is the most commonly used test for diagnosis. A series of images are made up of colored dots with a number made up of different colored dots embedded somewhere in the image. A colorblind person will not see the embedded number within the image.

Colorblindness is actually a color vision deficiency. It can make menial tasks like shopping or watching a tv screen a bit more difficult or less enjoyable but is generally able to be coped with, with minimal interruption to life. If you suspect that you may be experiencing colorblindness, it may be time to visit your eye doctor.

For tips or a consultation about colorblindness and to schedule an appointment contact us today at 561-798-0244.

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