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Color Blindness Facts

Color Blindness Facts

Approximately 8 percent men and 0.5 percent women worldwide suffer from color blindness. Going through more of such facts about this condition will help you eradicate some common myths about it.
Abhijit Naik
Chromosome molecule
Color blindness is a color vision deficiency, characterized by an individual's inability to differentiate between various colors. Though it is genetic in nature, i.e., passing from one generation to another, a significant number of cases are related to some damage caused to the eye, brain, or nerves. In rare cases, exposure to certain chemicals can also trigger this condition.

In spite of being technically incorrect, the term 'color blindness' is preferred over color vision deficiency, owing to the simplicity of pronunciation and understanding for a layman. Though it is a minor disability, individuals affected by it are bound to have a tough time choosing clothes or reading analytical diagrams.

Facts About Color Blindness

The first person to present a paper on color blindness was English scientist, John Dalton. As a mark of respect for his contribution, the conditions is also referred to as Daltonism. Interestingly, John Dalton was a color blind himself.

The severity of this eye problem is usually categorized into four parts.
  • Slightly color blind
  • Moderately color blind
  • Strongly color blind
  • Absolutely color blind
Scientifically, absolute color blindness or complete color blindness is referred to as achromatopsia or monochromacy. It is mostly associated with eye conditions like amblyopia and nystagmus.

Color blindness is a genetic disorder in humans. As the most common form of this deficiency is related to X chromosome or color blindness chromosome, it is more common in males. Even those females who are not color blind themselves, are known to be active carriers of this condition. While a mother is bound to pass her red-green color blindness to all her sons, it is less likely that the father will do the same.

Red-green Color Blindness
Approximately 99 percent of all color blind people suffer from red-green color blindness, of which around 75 percent have problems with green perception and 24 percent have problems with red perception. But that doesn't mean the person only gets confused between red and green. The fact is that the problem prevails in the whole color spectrum. The most common form of eye problem is deuteranomaly, a form of red-green color blindness. The condition being recessive sex linked, we see that more men are color blind than their female counter parts.

Diagnostic Tests
There are several types of tests, the most commonly used ones being ...
  • Pseudoisochromatic plates
  • Arrangement test
  • Anomaloscope test
Among the various tests, anomaloscope, which measures the quantitative and qualitative anomalies in color perception, is known to give the most accurate results. Ishihara plates are also used for the diagnosis of this condition, but they are relatively less accurate. Color blindness deficiency can be corrected to a certain extent by wearing color correcting lenses, wherein the person wears two different colored lenses in his/her eyes.

Although color blindness is classified as a disability, people suffering from it are known to have certain advantages over people with normal vision. One such advantage being their ability to penetrate certain camouflages with ease. As of today, there is no accepted treatment of color blindness, but there is a hope that we will have one very soon.