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All About Color Blindness

November 16, 2015

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Color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency, is more common than you might think. Being color blind doesn't mean you can't see; it means that you may have trouble telling the difference between colors. For example, most people who are color blind struggle to see variations in red, green, or blue light. 

What Causes It?

  • They eye perceives combinations of three different colors: red, green, and blue. Scientists believe color blindness could be caused by a fault in the cells that process these colors, or perhaps by a problem with the cell ability to communicate with the brain. 
  • Color blindness is often hereditary, meaning that it is passed on from generation to generation through genetics. 
  • The condition is much more common among men than women. 
  • Many women are carriers of color blindness, but are not color blind themselves. 

Your DNA often determines whether or not you will be color blind. Your DNA often determines whether or not you will be color blind. Courtesy of support.ubc.ca

Red/Green Color Blindness

  • This is the most common form of color blindness. 
  • A person who has red/green color blindness will have trouble seeing any colors that contain red or green elements. 
  • For example, the color purple might look blue if you are red/green color blind, because you can't see the red part of the purple. 
  • Other, less common forms of color blindness include the inability to perceive blue light. 

On the left is what a person with typical vision will see, on the right is what a person with red/green color blindness will likely see. On the left is what a person with typical vision will see, on the right is what a person with red/green color blindness will likely see. Courtesy of npr.org

What Are The Effects? 

  • Color blindness can be challenging to deal with, especially if you don't realize that you have it. Many people don't become aware of their own color blindness until they reach adulthood, when things like driving can become an issue. 
  • For example, cooking can be problematic when you are color blind because it is hard to tell if something is ripe (this often depends on color, like with bananas) or cooked properly. 
  • Getting dressed can be a problem - if you are color blind it will be very hard for you to tell what colors match!

Visiting the eye doctor regularly is an important part of your health. Visiting the eye doctor regularly is an important part of your health. Courtesy of webmd.com

Remember, if you are color blind you are not alone. 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women worldwide are affected by this condition. If you think you might be color blind, talk to your family about it and see your doctor. It's nothing to be ashamed of; color blindness will not stop you from living your life fully and happily. 

Have Your Say!

If you are color blind and comfortable talking to us, our Kidzworld readers would love to hear about your experiences. Post a comment below! 

 

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