Color Blindness – What You Need to Know

Color Blindness – What You Need to Know

One may assume that being color blind means living in a black-and-white world but that is not how it works in most cases. It is not blindness but just a limitation in the way one sees color. A recessive gene located on the X chromosome is the main reason for most color blindness which is why it is males are much more likely to be color blind than women. A woman may have one copy of the gene for normal color vision and this will help her see the full range of colors. She can be a carrier and can pass on the gene to future generations. Since males have only one X chromosome, they are likely to be color blind if they have the defective gene. Red-green color deficiency is the most common form. The blue-yellow deficiency is rarer and affects both men and women equally.

The color-blind person does not always see in shades of grey. They can see most colors, but some colors appear to be faded and they may confuse some colors. The most common causes of color vision deficiencies are inherited, cataracts, medications, Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, and Kallman’s syndrome. The inherited form is the most common and is due to the absence of specialized cells in our retinas called cones. Color blindness happens when one of the cones red, blue, or green is missing or fails to do its job correctly. Complete color blindness is rare.

Treatment is possible in some cases. Enchroma is a company that makes these glasses and these lenses remove the overlapping wavelengths of light and help the person see colors better. Another treatment that is available is ColorCorrection filters which can be applied to both spectacles and contact lenses. Nearly 80% of people get benefits from wearing these lenses and can see colors vividly. But every person is unique and so the individual response can vary.


It is important to remember that color blindness does not interfere with normal day-to-day activities. One should choose a profession where there is no need for perfect color discrimination.

Dr. Ramesh Murthy is one of the best squint surgeons, pediatric ophthalmologist, and cataract surgeon in Pune and India and is available at Axis Eye Clinic which is considered among the best eye clinics in Pune. Payal Rathi is one of the best pediatric optometrists in the city of Pune.

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