What Is Color Blindness?

May 3, 2019
James Ashford

Color blindness affects approximately 300 million people worldwide and occurs more frequently in men. One in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are color blind. Those with a mild form of color blindness may not even be aware of their condition!

In the simplest sense, people with color blindness are not able to perceive the differences between various colors.

To understand color blindness a bit better, let’s review how we see color.

How does the human eye see?

You may remember from biology that the retina of the eye contains two types of light-sensitive cells: rods and cones. Rods work in low-light conditions (think night vision), and cones work in daylight, helping us see color.

We have three different kinds of cone cells, and each type of cells responds to either blue, green or red light (light wavelengths).

So, when we look at something, light enters our eyes, stimulates the cone cells, and then our brain interprets the signals from the cones cells to determine the color of the object. Together, blue, green and red cones allow us to see the whole spectrum of colors.

Each of the three types of cone cells has a different makeup of photopigment cells, which are molecules that undergo a chemical change when they absorb different types of light.

Are there different kinds of color blindness?

There are a few types of color blindness. Red-green color blindness is the most common, followed by blue-yellow color blindness. A complete absence of color vision —total color blindness – also occurs, but it’s quite rare.

Someone with red-green color blindness typically confuses blue and purple because they cannot detect the red element of the color purple.

What causes color blindness?

Most color blindness is genetic. A mother can pass on color blindness to her son since it is encoded on the x-chromosome — hence why more men are color blind. Inherited color blindness is a result of abnormal photopigments, the color-detecting molecules inside the cone-shaped cells of the retina.

Other times, color blindness can be caused by physical or chemical damage to the eye, optic nerve, or parts of the brain that process color information. In addition, with age, the hardening of the eye’s lens (which leads to cataracts) can also affect color vision. Cataracts, however, can be corrected with surgery.

Most color blind people see things just as clearly as other people, with the exception of not being able to fully perceive red, green or blue light.

Curious how well you can distinguish between different colors? Try this neat color test to see how you do:

https://www.xrite.com/hue-test

And remember, if your results are concerning or alarming in any way, please schedule an appointment with your optometrist to discuss your questions or concerns.

Sources:

  1. http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/
  2. http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/causes-of-colour-blindness/
  3. https://nei.nih.gov/health/color_blindness/facts_about

[formlift id=”708″]

Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

GET LASIK DISCOUNT

Learn about benefits of LASIK for Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma members.

Let's Talk About You

Let us know if you have any questions or if you’d like to chat.

Popular blog posts

Top 5 KPIs to Track When Assessing Plan Performance and Satisfaction

Top 5 KPIs to Track When Assessing Plan Performance and Satisfaction

As a broker, you need to maintain a diverse product portfolio so you can help companies build packages adapted to their needs and budgets. Tracking these 5 key performance indicators when comparing plans will help you better identify the ones that are more likely to...

How to Get Discounts on Frames and Discontinued Lines

How to Get Discounts on Frames and Discontinued Lines

Eyewear and contact lenses are vital to the optometry field. Keeping this in mind, doctors should be aware of the purchase costs of these goods to boost their revenue. Frame reps make commissions on sales, so they’re incentivized to sell as much as possible, but are...

Designing a Modern Optometry Practice

Designing a Modern Optometry Practice

One question that optometrists should consider is, “When patients walk into your optometry office, how do you want them to feel?” Naturally, patients desire comfortable, welcoming, and modern environments, as these characteristics put them at ease. Therefore,...

November 2022: Native American Heritage Month

November 2022: Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month celebrates a rich culture and educates people about issues unique to the Native American community. It’s an opportunity to draw attention to health issues that disproportionately affect Native Americans. It’s a group that is at higher...

Top 3 Reasons to Work with Smaller Plan Providers

Top 3 Reasons to Work with Smaller Plan Providers

In the healthcare benefits industry, brokers are essential in helping small businesses find plans. Smaller companies might not have the resources or experience to do thorough research into the options available. Fortunately, there are brokers who understand that...

3 Signs It’s Time to Review and Upgrade Your Benefits Package

3 Signs It’s Time to Review and Upgrade Your Benefits Package

A routine inventory of your benefits package can tell you where you may be able to reduce spending and, equally importantly, can also ensure that it continues to meet the needs of employees. That’s why Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma recommends reviewing your benefits...

October 2022: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 2022: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You might be wondering about the link with vision health. The truth is that a simple eye exam can sometimes detect early signs of cancer. Breast cancer can result in metastasis. When cancer cells break away from the main tumor, they...

Understanding the Ins and Outs of the Vision Plans You Accept

Understanding the Ins and Outs of the Vision Plans You Accept

For eye doctors in Tulsa OK, as well as other states, a regular review of the plans you’re currently accepting, and their ins and outs, is something you should be doing. By understanding the vision plans you accept, you can better identify how you are paid and the...

Top Strategies for Helping Plan Providers Meet Their Goals

Top Strategies for Helping Plan Providers Meet Their Goals

When trying to reduce healthcare spending, employers who offer employee benefits in the state of Oklahoma, as well as anywhere else, should be aware of one fact: there are options available that don’t increase the costs to employees via high deductibles. As a broker,...

Rethinking How You Offer Value Part 3: Build Digital Connections

Rethinking How You Offer Value Part 3: Build Digital Connections

The pandemic has sped up the digital transformation. Many professionals are embracing the virtual world because they realize connections matter. We've been sharing tips about how to rethink the way you offer value as a broker who offers plans accepted by an...

eGuide: Top 10 Ways Vision Care Direct Makes a Broker’s Job Easier

eGuide: Top 10 Ways Vision Care Direct Makes a Broker’s Job Easier

Top 10 Ways eGuide - Vision Care Direct Makes a Broker’s Job EasierOur eGuide is chocked full of ways Vision Care Direct can simplify working with a vision plan.  When you quote a vision plan certainly you are looking at the price and size of the network, and so is...

Search blog posts