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Learn About Vision Issues: Color Blindness

Illustration of color blindness test

Color Blindness

What is color blindness? Most of those who experience color blindness during their life can actually see some variations of color. Colors that can be seen could be restricted to specific shades of a color or possibly incorrect colorations of an actual color. In fact, it's unusual if a colorblind person only sees grey, black and white. There are three different types of 'cone' cells inside the macula that distinguish between red, green and blue colors. Color blindness happens if any of those cone cells don't function properly. If there is one type of cone cell that's lacking, the individual won't see that particular color at all. If any part of the cone cell is damaged, the affected person may only be able to see certain shades of that color or may interpret that shade differently such as confusing red and green.
Color blindness does not get progressively worse with time, but it can't be corrected. People who are colorblind have to adapt to seeing the world in limited shades of color - for example, memorizing the order of colors on traffic lights.

Is color blindness genetic? Many colorblind people have inherited this trait, which can be present at birth. If this is the case, the condition isn't correctable. Most people can learn to successfully manage this vision impairment. Schoolwork may be difficult for young students and careers could be limited due to this impairment. In some instances, color blindness could be the result of a different vision issue, like glaucoma or cataracts. If the underlying cause is cured, it's possible that ordinary color vision can be restored.

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