Understanding Color Blindness

Although differing views on shades of color can often be good for a hearty laugh in a relationship, the issue of color blindness is very real for many Americans. Whether it is a mismatched outfit or difference of opinion on decorating schemes, the next time you feel like arguing with a friend or spouse, take into consideration that there may be a larger issue at hand.

What is Color Blindness?

A common misconception about color blindness is that people with this medical condition can only see in black and white. However, it is very rare that people see with a complete absence of color. In fact, there are many varying degrees of color blindness. Most often people experience a red-green deficiency, where they are unable to distinguish between the two colors. The 3 most common types of color deficiency or color blindness are Protan, Deutran and Tritan.

Protanomlay refers to a weakness in recognizing reds. Deuternomaly is referred to as a green shade weakness, and Tritanomlay is a blue shade weakness in the cone cells of the eye. This weakness in the cone of the eyes means that affected patients may not see that specific color altogether or may only have issues detecting certain shades of the color. 


Because this medical issue can make a great impact on a patient's life, optometrists prefer to diagnose the problem as early as possible. Children with color blindness can experience problems with reading development or other learning disabilities if their color blindness goes undetected. Although there are many color blindness tests available online, it is recommended that you make a visit to your local eye care center to get a proper diagnosis. 

What to Expect at the Eye Care Clinic

Your optometrist will most likely perform one of two tests to determine if you indeed suffer from any form of color blindness. You will be asked to identify numbers or patterns from a series of colored dots or to arrange a sequence of colored chips. Whichever pattern you are able to identify will help the eye doctor to know exactly which colors you have trouble seeing. 

Treatment Options

In most cases, color blindness is an inherited disease and cannot be treated with medicine. However, acquired color blindness due to cataracts can be treated with surgery to repair color vision. If you believe you may have a color vision problem, contact an eye care center, such as Byrne William, to schedule an appointment.