Colour blindness means a person sees colour differently than most. The condition can make it hard to see the difference between certain colours. Often hereditary, there is no cure. There are however special glasses and even contact lenses that can help. Most people are able to adjust to their colour blindness, so it doesn’t cause problems with everyday living.
This article explores the three types of colour blindness, as well as symptoms. We’ll also assess your risk for colourblindness.
TYPES OF COLOUR BLINDNESS
- RED-GREEN: This is the most common form of colour blindness, making it difficult to distinguish the difference between red and green. Deuteranomaly is experienced the most, which makes green look red. Protanomaly is a different version of this type of colour blindness, it makes red look a little greenish and not as bright. Finally, Deuteranopia and Protanopia both prevent someone from being able to tell the difference at all, between red and green.
- BLUE-YELLOW: This form of colour blindness is less common. Tritanomaly is a form that makes it difficult to tell the difference between blue and green, and between yellow and red. Tritanopia is an extended version, with the same difficulties as Tritanomaly, but also making it difficult to distinguish between purple and pink. All colours also appear less bright.
- COMPLETE: Also known as Monochromacy, complete colour blindness means you see no colours at all. Blurry vision is often included and you will be more sensitive to light. Fortunately, it’s very uncommon.
SYMPTOMS OF COLOUR BLINDNESS
If you’re noticing a difference between colours, or how brightly colours appear to you, then it’s worth getting your eyes checked. The symptoms of colour blindess are usually minimal and hard to notice. We get used to the way we see colours, which is why many people aren’t aware they have colour blindness.
ARE YOU AT RISK FOR COLOUR BLINDNESS?
The following are risk factors you and your eye doctor should take into consideration:
- It’s more common for men to experience colour blindness than women.
- Certain eye diseases such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration will raise your risk factor.
- Other health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis.
- Some medications such as phosphodiesterase type five inhibitors like Sildenafil. Anti-infectives such as interferon alfa, ethambutol, and metronidazole.
If your colour blindness is hereditary, then there is no cure for it. Most people find ways to adjust but there are some limitations. Kids may need help with some classroom activities as they adjust and learn to see the world from their unique perspective. Adults may also not be able to pursue certain careers such as a graphic designer, or pilot.
If the colour blindness is happening because of a health problem, then your doctor will treat the condition, which usually helps bring the vision back to normal. If your medication has caused colour blindness, then your doctor will likely adjust your dosage or switch to a different prescription.
There are special contact lenses and glasses available which help many people tell the difference between colours. Technology and our phones are starting to play an important role as well, as visual aids. An app on your phone, for example can let you take a photo, when you tap on an area of the phone, the app will tell you the colour of that area.
Remember, as with all potential eye conditions, it’s important to keep your eye doctor up to date on any symptoms you may feel, to correct the problem before it gets worse.