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Color Blindness


Overview :

Normal color vision requires the use of specialized receptor cells called cones, which are located in the retina of the eye. There are three types of cones, termed red, blue, and green, which enable people to see a wide spectrum of colors. An abnormality, or deficiency, of any of the types of cones will result in abnormal color vision.

There are three basic variants of color blindness. Red/green color blindness is the most common deficiency, affecting 8% of Caucasian males and 0.5% of Caucasian females. The prevalence varies with culture.

Blue color blindness is an inability to distinguish both blue and yellow, which are seen as white or gray. It is quite rare and has equal prevalence in males and females. It is common for young children to have blue/green confusion that becomes less pronounced in adulthood. Blue color deficiency often appears in people who have physical disorders such as liver disease or diabetes mellitus.

A total inability to distinguish colors (achromatopsia) is exceedingly rare. These affected individuals view the world in shades of gray. They frequently have poor visual acuity and are extremely sensitive to light (photophobia), which causes them to squint in ordinary light.

Researchers studying red/green color blindness in the United Kingdom reported an average prevalence of only 4.7% in one group. Only 1% of Eskimo males are color blind. Approximately 2.9% of boys from Saudi Arabia and 3.7% from India were found to have deficient color vision. Red/green color blindness may slightly increase an affected person's chances of contracting leprosy. Pre-term infants exhibit an increased prevalence of blue color blindness. Achromatopsia has a prevalence of about 1 in 33,000 in the United States and affects males and females equally.




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