What happens when one day you find yourself in a sea of grey? When your eyes can no longer distinguish the beauty of colors, and everything seems to be of the same hue? Though it is not a form of blindness altogether, color blindness is a genetic condition that is still considered a defect of sight. Specifically, it is the inability of the eye to perceive one or a few certain colors while maintaining normal vision in other aspects. Thus, it is also referred to as ‘color visual deficiency’.
Color Blindness, its Forms and Symptoms
Though it is sometimes confused with total blindness, optometrist Pittsburgh says those with the condition can see quite normally in terms of spatial perception. This is because only the ability to see certain colors are affected. Such colors can appear as washed out or blurred for the person while other colors appear normal. Also, it is rare for a person with the condition to have the abnormality for all colors, usually manifesting just one or two. This condition is called Monochromatism and affects only a very small group.
The most common form of color blindness is Red-Green color deficiency. In the US alone, it is estimated that roughly 8 percent of males and 1 percent of females fall prey to this condition. The symptoms can also be very slight that the person may not be able to tell that he has the condition right away. So, if one day your friends point out that you’re not stopping on the red light since you can’t see its color, you may very well have the condition.
How Color Blindness Occurs
To better understand how the condition occurs, we must first realize how our eyes can discern colors. Light as a wave can vary in wavelength depending on its color. Inside the eye’s retina are light-sensitive cells known as cones which give us the ability to distinguish colors by sensing the wavelengths of the light that enters our eye. The cones inside the retina of a person who is color blind may react different than normal when it comes to a few colors. They may not be as sensitive as expected. This causes them to be unable to detect a few wavelengths of light that enter the retina. Some retinas may also be deficient or lacking in certain types of cones needed to distinguish certain colors. This difference in cone sensitivity or density is what causes color blindness.
Cure for Color Blindness
Currently, there is no definitive cure for color blindness yet. The condition is passed genetically and those afflicted are in for a lifetime with this condition. However, some corrective instruments can be used by those with the condition. There are available contact lenses with filters that help enhance affected colors. Consult your nearest Ophthalmologist right away if you feel that you are experiencing its symptoms. They have specialized tests that use numbers printed among colored patterns for detecting common forms of the ailment. Inability to read the number from such pattern can be a good indicator.
Among the various ailments that can affect the eyes, color blindness is one of the least adverse. Since color is the only defect in their sight, those with color blindness need only to do a few adaptation methods to live normally since their vision is normal in all other aspects.