Colour blindness

Colour blindness can be simply defined as trouble in seeing or identifying colors like blue, green and red. There are some rare cases where a person cannot see and identify any colors at all. A person with this syndrome also finds difficulties in differentiating the colors with shades. This syndrome is also called a color vision problem or color vision deficiency.

Colour blindness was discovered by an English chemist named John Dalton in the year 1798. During the discovery, he was also suffering from color blindness. He wrote his first article about color blindness, which was based on his own experience. Colour blindness is also called as Daltonism, which is named after its discoverer – John Dalton.

Colour blindness

Different types of Colour blindness

Monochromacy: This syndrome occurs when two or three cone pigments (red, blue and green) are absent or damaged. In this type of colorblindness both the color and lightness vision is reduced to one dimension. This results in total color blindness.

Dichromacy: This syndrome occurs when only one of the cone pigments (red, blue and green) is absent or damaged. In this type of colorblindness, only the color vision is reduced to two dimensions. This results in partial color blindness.


Causes of Colour blindness

The healthy human eye retina contains two light-sensitive cells – rod cells and the cone cells.

The rod cells are for low light and the cone cells are for normal and bright light.

Colour blindness is affected when these two light-sensitive cells fail to perform their functions.

There are several factors, which causes color vision problem in a person. The factors include:

  • Damaged caused to brain or eye or to the nerve cells.
  • Genetic disorders.
  • Side effects of drugs.
  • Use of tobacco and alcohol.

Symptoms of Colour blindness

Symptoms of this eye syndrome include:

  • Trouble in seeing colors and the brightness of colors.
  • The problem in identifying the differences between colors shades.
  • Rapid eye movement.
  • Sensitivity towards the bright light.

Diagnosis of Colour blindness

There are certain tests available to diagnosis and to measure color vision deficiency in a patient. Doctors can easily diagnose color blindness by using the Ishihara Plate Test.

Ishihara Plate test

Ishihara Plate test

A test, which is most commonly used for routine color vision screening. This is present in all eye clinics and in schools. There are totally 38 plates of circles, which are created by irregular colored dots using two or more colors. During this diagnosis, patients are asked to identify the number on a plate.

Screening test

This test is mainly used to detect and determines the type and severity of the color blindness.

Treatment for Colour Blindness

Currently, there is no treatment for this syndrome. Photographic frames or filters and eyeglasses with contact lenses can be used to a certain extent to improve the dimension between some colors.  A properly balanced diet can be followed to improve the symptoms of color blindness.

Patients with the color blind syndrome face many difficulties in their daily life. They may face difficulties in choosing fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, differentiating the pulses, driving a car, selecting clothes and much more. The most common type of inherited color blindness is the red and green color blindness. As per the studies and medical records, red and green color blindness is seen more in men than in women. Blue color blindness is seen both in men and women.

To learn more about color blindness and its treatment download Byju’s The Learning App.

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