Color blindness is a condition that reduces or changes the ability to perceive colors in the same way that others do. Heredity plays a major role in this condition, which affects about eight percent of men and less than one percent of women worldwide. This condition can often go undiagnosed for years because patients are not aware that they do not perceive colors in the same way that others do. Often, a trip to a qualified Houston, TX eye surgery doctor is the first indication that problems with color vision exist. Here are some of the most important facts about color blindness for patients and their families.
DIAGNOSING COLOR BLINDNESS
One of the most often-used tests performed by a Houston, TX eye surgeon for color blindness is the Ishihara Plate test, which consists of 38 separate circles filled with dots of different colors. These dots create a pattern that can be identified by patients who perceive colors in the standard way. Patients who fail to see these patterns, however, will usually receive further screenings to identify the exact nature of their vision problems.
TYPES OF COLOR BLINDNESS
Not all cases are the same. Researchers have identified three primary types of color blindness:
- Red-green color blindness is the most common form of this condition. Protanopia, protanomaly, deuteranopia and deuteranomaly are subtypes of red-green color blindness.
- Blue-yellow color blindness includes the disorders tritanopia and tritanomaly.
- Individuals with complete color blindness see the world in shades of black, gray and white. They are more likely to experience other difficulties with their vision and are often diagnosed with color blindness at an early age.
There is no current cure for color blindness. In some cases, however, treatments and applications may be available to provide added help for those affected by this visual condition.
CAUSES OF COLOR BLINDNESS
In most cases of color blindness, the fault can be traced to defects in the function of the cones cells in the eyes. These photoreceptor cells are designed to absorb light and to transmit information about color to the brain. If the photopigment for a particular type of cone is abnormal or missing, the ability to see colors in a specific spectrum may be compromised. Missing or damaged cones can also cause color blindness in some cases.