What causes color blindness ?

Color blindness refers to the deficiency of the eyes wherein a person has a difficulty in determining the real colors of the objects he/she is looking at. The colors red and green or blue and yellow are the ones not being recognized by the brain and so these colors appear hazy gray or lighter than the usual.

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The eyesight of the person who is color blind is still alright, however, color blindness would serve as a serious inconvenience to the part of the affected individual. Driving a car in the country with no traffic lights is possible to do. However, if the person lives in the city, driving would be quite a challenge especially if the person cannot determine the colors red and green.

Another example is differentiating between the wirings of some appliance that is color coded. A color blind person cannot distinguish what wire to place where if the color coding of the wires includes blue, yellow red or green.

The cause of color blindness has something to do with the damage in the photoreceptors of the retina. Studies have shown that men are more prone to be affected by color blindness than women.

What causes color blindness ?

As mentioned above, the cause of color blindness is due to an abnormality in the retina’s photoreceptors. The photoreceptors of the eyes are made up of cones and rods. The cones are very helpful in determining colors. These cones are found in the central part of the retina. When a person looks at something colorful, the cones would process the information using light wavelengths that would be passed on to the brain where the final recognition of the color is analyzed. The rods, on the other hand, are responsible for the person’s ability to see well at night.

There are a number of rods and cones in the retina. A slight damage to the cones would result to minor color blindness.  In other words, the person can still see the color but with lighter hues. If the rods and cones are severely damaged, there will be severe color blindness involving the shades of green and red or blue and yellow, depending on which cones are damaged.

But aside from the aforementioned, there are also other conditions or diseases that could result to color blindness. These conditions would include Parkinson’s disease, wherein the neurons and nerves, including some nerves in the retina, are damaged; and cataract, wherein there is a blockage of the retina that would result to the clouding of the eyesight. Some drugs or medicines could also bring forth color blindness. An example would be Tiagabine which is an antiepileptic drug that has shown to decrease the color vision to up to 41%. However, color blindness that is caused by this drug is not permanent as the vision would eventually return to normal once the medication is stopped or reduced.

Color blindness test

Before formulating the appropriate treatment plan, the doctor has to make sure of the diagnosis. Tests for color blindness would be conducted by the doctor. The examinations would utilize some color charts so as to help determine which colors the person has problems perceiving. One of the most popular charts used for color blindness test is the Pseudoisochromatic plate. This not only aids in making the diagnosis of color blindness but also determines how severe the case is.

Color Blindness Treatment

Color blindness has no cure. The options presented to the person who is color blind are ways to improve the eye sight and means of managing the said condition. Some eye specialists utilize lenses in the form of contact lenses or glasses that could improve and sharpen the person’s recognition of colors.

Also, because color blindness is a permanent condition, it is important to live with the condition and make strategies in order to not mix things up. Labeling is an effective way to avoid confusion of the colors. The affected person should ask help from his/her family members, friends or even neighbors in tagging the colors of some important stuff in the house such as cable wiring and phone wiring. Furthermore, the color blind person should also keep in mind that in a traffic light, red is always on top and that the green one is at the bottom.

Color blindness is an eye deficiency that does not actually pose any harmful threat to one’s health; it would only serve as an inconvenience. But since it is a permanent condition, the person affected should just learn the ways and means of coping, or develop a strategy on how to survive and live with the condition. Eventually, that person would know how to work his way around despite the condition of his or her vision. Patience and perseverance are chief in learning how to live with color blindness. Also, support from the family, friends and colleagues can also greatly help.

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