Color Blindness is a term that causes confusion. “Color blind” aren’t blind, and they see colors, so you can see what the name “Color Blindness” can lead a misunderstanding of just what “color blindness” really is. This article is intended to clear up the confusion about color blindness.
What is Color Blindness?
Color blindness is a hereditary condition that primarily affects males. In the retina, there are different cells to help you process your vision, the “rods” and “cones”. The cells are shaped like rods or cones and thus the names. Rods help with night vision, black and white, and motion. The cones help with detailed vision and color perception. Certain cones are for certain color ranges. Together, the rods and cones produce transmissions to the brain for processing what you see.
If someone is born missing some of the specialized cones for a certain color range, they are considered to have a color deficiency. Over the years, the term “color blindness” stuck, however these folks are not blind and they see color. But their eyes see colors slightly differently than the others eyes and they have a hard time distinguishing between colors.
The most common color deficiency is red or green. The colors in this range are desaturated (less colorful) and they tend to blend together. No problems with traffic lights like the name may sound like, but they don’t see the true color they way other people will. Other color deficiencies include blue and yellow. This form is slightly less prevalent than red or green deficiencies.
How does color deficiency affect learning and employment?
Quite often parents are very concerned when they learn their child has a color deficiency, but the color deficiency will not interfere with learning and is not linked to intelligence. It’s important to let the teacher know of your child’s color deficiency to help avoid any misunderstanding of class assignments or instructions. On a lighter note, color deficiency children and adults will have trouble perfectly matching their clothes and sorting socks!
Regarding employment options for color deficient patients, most doors of opportunity are still wide open. Perhaps matching colors at the paint store won’t be an option, otherwise, the opportunities are just as open for them as for everyone else.
If you have concerns about your child’s color vision, take them to the eye doctor. A simple test can determine any color perception problems that may be present.