What is Colour Blindness?

While the majority of us share a common colour vision sensory experience, some people suffer from a colour vision deficiency, which means that their perception is colours can vary to different degrees from what most of us see. The most severe forms of such colour vision deficiencies are called colour blindness which prevents those who have this to be unaware to differences among colours that might seem obvious.

Inherited colour blindness is primarily caused by abnormal photopigments which are colour-detecting molecules located in cone-shaped cells within the retina called cone cells. Us humans require several genes for the body to make photopigments, and particular defects in these genes can lead to colour blindness.

There are three main kinds of colour blindness which are relative to photopigment defects in the three different kinds of cones that respond to blue, green, and red light. The most common kind of colour blindness in people is red-green colour blindness, followed by blue-yellow colorblindness. The absolute absence of colour vision, also known as total colour blindness is rare.

In some instances, colour blindness can be caused by direct physical or chemical damage to the eye, the optic nerve, or regions of the brain that functions to process colour information. Colour vision can also deteriorate with age, quite often because of having a condition of cataract.

Troublingly, people who don’t have the more serious types of colorblindness might not even be aware of their colour blindness until they’ve been tested in a clinic. If you have a suspicion that you’re unable to see certain colours clearly or at all, be sure to contact your medical provider today.

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