When we think of someone being colorblind, it’s a common misconception to think that person only sees in monochrome. Actually, though, over 99% of people that suffer from colorblindness can see some form of color. Therefore, the actual blindness part should be thought of as more of a lack in color definition, with many sufferers seeing colors in muted tones or being unable to see certain colors.
For such a small organ, your eyes work incredibly hard, processing all the light that we see into images. So, what happens when someone has some level of color blindness? Well, to see color, our eyes are full of cone cells, which are sensitive to light and will process that light along your optic nerve and into your brain – this results in color vision. When some of the cone cells are less or more sensitive than they should be, an altered sense of color is transmitted to the brain.
When it comes to color blindness, the most frequent ailment is when people see green and red very similar, which can cause confusion. However, there are various different types of color blindness, all caused by the differences in the eye’s cone cells.
As mentioned above, the most common type of color blindness occurs on the red and green spectrum. Caused by green-sensitive cone cells going to close to the red-sensitive cells, the colors become muddled, with the mind unable to decipher green. That is, that person is blind to green.
The opposite to deutan color blindness, here the red-sensitive cells in our eyes become too close to the green-sensitive. This results in the person having problems seeing the color red.
Although some people can be born with tritanopia, this condition is a common side-effect of your eyes ageing or due to some medical complication. Here, although a person is not blind to the color blue, that person will see that color to be dull and darker than they used to.
While other conditions are deficient in one or two colors, when someone has achromatopsia they are completely blind to color. This is a very rare condition and those suffering from it will only see in black, white and shades of gray. Some people who suffer other forms of color blindness might find that, over time, their color vision becomes worse until they eventually see no color.
Color blindness can be incredibly frustrating in every day life, particularly when it comes to red and green – just imagine not being able to properly see the red and green on traffic lights. Unfortunately, though, there is no cure for color deficiency, but you can improve your condition by using either contact lenses or glasses that have a color filter in their lens from sites like EnChroma.
Although color blindness can’t be cured at the moment, thankfully these sufferers tend to have very normal vision otherwise. Indeed, as many people were born that way, they don’t even realize that they see the world differently to others.