Colour vision deficiency or also known as colour blindness, is a problem that affects approximately 4,5% of the population in Britain. And around 300 million people worldwide.
There are lot of people who actually do not realize they have some kind of a colour deficiency as they do see colours just not the same as other people.
What happens in the eye is that the light-sensitive cells of the retina do not respond to the wavelengths variations of light that allow people to see different colours. The eye sees difference between colours thanks to the light that comes in. Cones control colour vision and there are several types of pigments in three types of cone cells that are responsible for the way the eye sees light.
Types of colour blindness:
People with this condition perceive light slightly out of alignment depending on which of their eye cone is affected.
The conditions that come from this are known as:
- reduced sensitivity to red light. The red cone photopigment is damaged and it doesn’t work correctly which leads to seeing red more like green, brown or yellow.
- reduced sensitivity to green light, which makes people to see redder, and it is the most common one.
- reduced sensitivity to blue light, which is extremely rare. People with this kind of color blindness have problems with seeing blue and yellow colours. It is usually acquired due to some kind of eye disease.
There are also people with dichromacies. Meaning that two types of cones don’t work properly.
What causes it?
The condition is most commonly passed through genetics. Many people can be just carriers without even realizing as it can be a recessive gene.
Colour blindness can also be cause by diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, Alzheimer, multiple sclerosis or even nutritional problems. Damage to the optic nerve or to the eye- physical or chemical. Cataract or damage to the part of the brain that processes colours.
It can also occur as a side effect of some medicines.
It can also develop with age.
How to treat it?
There are special lenses and glasses that help enhancing colour perception.
The most important step is to see an eye doctor if you notice you have problem making a difference between some colours so you can be given a proper treatment.