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Color Vision Deficiency

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What Does Color Vision Deficiency Mean?

Color vision deficiency is the loss of ability to recognize certain colors. Another term used for this is color blindness. It makes it difficult for you to differentiate the different types of colors. There are some cases in which you are completely color blind and can only see shades of black and white. This condition is achromatopsia.

We have photoreceptors in our eyes known as cones that help us recognize different colors with the help of the pigments that are in the cones. These pigments identify different colors, and they send information to the brain through the optic nerves in our eyes. It is important to have one or two of these pigments for us to see colors. If there are no pigments present at all, then we are unable to see or identify different colors.

Types of Color Deficiency

One of the most common types of color deficiency is known as ‘red-green.’ In this type of deficiency, it is hard for people to differentiate one color from the other. The condition usually affects the ability of a person to distinguish dark colors. For example, it may involve confusing dark orange with dark red, black with different shades of red, or blue with purple.

Blue-Yellow is another type of deficiency in which you identify only pale versions of colors.

What Causes Color Deficiency

There are a number of factors that could cause you to have a color vision deficiency.

  1. Biogenetic
  2. Injury in the optic nerve or retina
  3. Diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Leukemia, Anemia and Parkinson’s can also cause you to be color blind
  4. As you age after 75, you start to lose your sense of color
  5. Exposure of any chemicals such as fertilizers to the eye can lead to color deficiency
  6. Strong medications that are given to people who have heart conditions, psychological disorders, or high blood pressure can cause color deficiency


A person who has color vision deficiency can never be cured completely. For people who have had an illness or an eye injury, they have a chance of seeing the colors normally again.

There are a few treatments that can help you deal with this type of deficiency:

  1. Use Special Tinted Glasses: Special tinted glasses help you distinguish between colors. However, the colors still won’t be as clear as you may expect them to be. It takes time to get the hang of this technique, and it is important to keep wearing them.
  2. Ask for Help: With the help of your friends and family, you can label certain colorful objects and organize them. Ask them to choose the proper matching clothes for you.
  3. Good Lighting: It is important to have proper bright lighting in your house, so it is easier for you to see certain objects with colors. Avoid sitting in dull lighting.
  4. Electronics: There are certain electronic devices, specially made for people who are color blind or completely blind. Certain smartphone applications can help you identify the color.

It is important to learn and know about this deficiency even if you’re not diagnosed with it. This way, you can help and educate people around you who are suffering from color vision deficiency.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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