When we see a yellow flower, an evergreen, or a red sports car, the majority of us take it for granted. But for a good portion of the population, these colors don’t appear correctly–or at all. Many people don’t even realize that they are color blind.
What is Color Blindness?
For the most part, color blindness is a genetic trait, a mix-up with photopigments, the color identifying portion of the cone cells in the retina. When there are mutations in the genes as well, it will result in color blindness. It may be apparent at birth, during childhood, or not emerge until adulthood.
There are three main kinds of color blindness:
- Red-Green Color Blindness
Some numbers believe that 8% of men and .5% of women of Northern European ancestry have this type of color blindness. It is the most common type of hereditary color blindness. There are four different subgroupings, ranging from mild to severe.
- Blue-yellow Color Blindness
More rare than red-green color blindness, blue-yellow photopigments are entirely missing or perhaps have limited function. There are two subgroups, Tritanomaly, where blues are more like greens and yellows and reds look much like pink, and Tritanopia, an extremely rare form of color blindness that results in blue appearing green and yellow looking like violet or even light gray.
- Complete Color Blindness
Anyone with complete color blindness cannot see colors at all. Their vision in general may be affected. There are two subgroups, Cone Monogromacy, that results in near-sightedness, a loss in clearness, and eye twitches, in addition to an inability to detect one color from another. The other subgroup, Rod Monochormacy or achromatopsia, is the most severe form of color blindness. Someone with complete color blindness would only see the world in shades of black, white, and gray, and is often very light sensitive.
Testing for Color Blindness
Eye care professionals administer a series of tests. The Ishihara Color Test is the most popular test for red-green color blindness. The Cambridge Color Test takes advantage of computers, asking patients to identify the rotation of a “c.” There are a number of tests available.
Treatment and Solutions
There is no cure-all for color blindness. There are, however, many advancements to help those with color blindness better cope with the situation. After all, even traffic lights contain red and yellow.
For red-green color blind patients, there are special lenses called Oxy-Iso lenses made by 2A1 Labs that may be used to help correct color blindness.
iPhone and iPad apps, like Colorblind Avenger or DanKam, can help those with color blindness deal with day to day life. For example, they could take a picture and see what the color of a fruit or a shirt actually is.
Solidworks 3D Industrial Software Design Tools has created a new version of their User Interface (UI) to make it easier to use for color blind users.
And even video games, like PopCap’s Peggle and Zuma Blitz, have a color blind mode to enable those with the disorder to play with shapes.
Do you think you may be color blind? OCLI can perform the simple tests to determine if you are color blind. Call OCLI today to schedule an appointment.