Most people are under the misconception that being color blind means only seeing in black and white, but the reality is that there are different types of color blindness that can affect someone. In most cases, color blindness affects men more than women. People who are affected by color blindness have a difficult time being able to differentiate between colors that are obvious to the rest of us.
People Affected by Color Blindness
Color blindness can be inherited, meaning that people can be born color blind. It can also be caused by physical or chemical damage to the eye, the optic nerve, or parts of the brain that process color information. As stated previously, color blindness affects more men (8%) than women (.5%). This happens because the genes responsible for the most common form of color blindness are on the X chromosome. Males only have one X chromosome, and females have 2 X chromosomes, which allows the female X chromosomes to compensate for any loss in the other X chromosome. This is known as X-linked and primarily affects males. When color blindness is inherited it can be present at birth, begin in childhood or not appear until adulthood.
Types of Color Blindness
In most cases color blindness is inherited, and is a result of defects in the genes that contain the instructions for making the photopigments found in cones.
Red-Green Color Blindness
The most common type of color blindness is due to the limited function of the red and green cone photopigments, and is referred to as red-green color blindness. Within the red-green category there are 4 different types known as:
- Protanomaly: Males with protanomaly have an abnormal red cone photopigment. Red, orange, and yellow appear greener and colors are not as bright. This is considered to be a mild condition and does not affect everyday life. This condition is known to affect 1% of males.
- Protanopia: Males who suffer from Protanopia, have no working red cone cell. The color red appears black and colors such as orange, yellow, and green will appear as yellow. This condition is known to affect 1% of males.
- Deuteranomaly: Males who suffer from deuteranomaly, have a green cone photopigment that is abnormal. In this case, yellow and green appear redder and it is difficult to to tell violet from blue. This condition does not interfere with daily life and is the most common form of color blindness. This is known to affect 5% of males.
- Deuteranopia: In males with deuteranopia, there are no working green cone cells. Red appears as brownish-yellow, and the color green appears as beige. This disorder only affects 1% of males.
Blue-Yellow Color Blindness
This type of color blindness is considered more rare than the red-green type of color blindness. In this case the blue-cone photopigments are either missing or have very limited function. The two types of blue-yellow color blindness are:
- Tritanomaly: People who suffer from tritanomaly, have blue-cone cells that are functionally limited. The color blue appears to be greener and it can be difficult to be able to differentiate red and yellow from pink. This condition is extremely rare and can affect males and females equally.
- Tritanopia: In this case, people with tritanopia, lack blue cone cells. The color blue appears green and the color yellow appears violet or light grey. This condition is also extremely rare, and can affect males and females equally.
Complete Color Blindness
When people are completely color blind, they do not experience any color at all and their visual acuity can also be affected. The two types of complete color blindness are:
- Cone Monochromacy: This form of color blindness is rare and is a result of failure of two of the three cone cell photopigments.
- Rod monochromacy or Achromatopsia: This condition is rare, but it is the most severe form of colorblindness. This condition means that none of the cone cells have working photopigments. People who suffer from this condition see the world in black, white and grey and are extremely sensitive to bright environments.
Diagnosing Color Blindness
The most common test used to detect red-green color blindness is the Ishihara Color Test. This test consists of a series of colored circles, known as Ishihara plates.These plates contain a collection of dots in different colors and sizes, and within the circles, the dots form a shape that is clearly visible to those with normal color vision. To people who are colorblind, seeing these patterns will be difficult or almost impossible to see. The outcome of the Ishihara Color Blind test helps diagnose if there is color blindness or not.
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“You’ll shoot your eye out!”
We’ve all heard the famous words from the classic Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story,” and from some of our parents when we asked for a specific Christmas toy as a child. But did you know that every year, thousands of kids under the age of 14 suffer from serious eye injuries caused by Holiday toys? The good news is that most of these eye injuries can be prevented and avoided, by simply considering the type of toy being purchased and the child it is meant for. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to select toys that are less likely to cause eye injury.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Toy:
- Read all warning and instruction labels on the box.
- Make sure that the toy you are buying is age appropriate for the child it is being bought for.
- Make sure the toy matches the child’s level of skill and ability.
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp points and dangerous edges.
- Check to make sure that the toy does not break easily and can withhold the child’s activity level.
- Make sure that the toy has been approved by the ASTM, the American Society for Testing and Materials. Toys approved by the ASTM meet the national safety standards.
Things to Consider when the Child is Playing with the Toy:
- Ensure that the child has appropriate supervision when playing with the toy.
- Provide the correct protective eye wear for the child.
- Ensure that the toy is properly removed from the packaging.
- Store the toy in a safe place where it won’t fall and cause injury.
Toys that Pose a High Risk for Eye Injury
- Guns that shoot any type of projectile (this includes water guns) – These types of toys may not seem as if they can cause serious eye injury, but when used indoors and in close proximity, it can cause serious eye injury. Some of the soft darts can shoot out as far as 75 feet.
- Laser pointers and bright flashlights – Even though laser and flashlights are not considered toys, they can cause serious vision loss from the intensity of the light emitted.
- Aerosol string – The actual toy is not what poses a threat to the eye, it’s the chemical in it that can cause serious eye injury. If the chemical enters the eye it can cause a corneal abrasion that can cause serious eye infections.
- Toy Wands and Swords – These toys are the most obvious in causing eye injury, due to the sharp and pointy end. If children aren’t supervised when playing with these toys, they could potentially poke each other’s eyes.
When doing your Holiday shopping this season and buying gifts for children, keep these tips in mind in order to avoid potential eye injuries and putting a damper on your Holiday celebrations.
When enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to protect the eyes from the harmful UV rays. Sunglasses are a great start to protecting your eyes, but a better alternative is getting polarized lenses on your sunglass lenses. Polarized lenses are made to not only reduce the glare from sunlight, but they also provide an additional layer of protection from the harmful UV rays.
Understanding How Polarized Lenses Work
Polarized lenses are made to reduce glare caused by sunlight. The lenses are coated with a special chemical that helps reduce the glare caused by light from the sun that is reflected off of water or solid surfaces.
When light reflects off of a surface such as water, or a flat road, the reflection is horizontally emitted. When this light is reflected, it travels in a horizontal direction versus a more scattered direction. This horizontal direction is what causes the bothersome glare that is experienced when wearing sunglasses. The glare caused by the light reduces your depth perception, distorts your view and color perception, and in some instances can temporarily blind you.
The polarized lens is coated with a special chemical film which blocks this horizontal light, and reduces the glare seen. Adding the polarized tint to your sunglasses increases comfort and improves visibility when outdoors.
Types of Polarized Lenses
When it comes to types of polarized lenses, there are two types. These two types are:
- .75mm Polarized Lenses – These lenses are made from thin sheets of film, and are best suited for casual sports, and are low impact resistant.
- 1.1 mm Polarized Lenses – These lenses are the thickest polarized lenses available. These thicker lenses are made to withstand more impact than the .75mm lenses, but do not provide added glare reduction.
When deciding which type of polarized lens to choose for your sunglasses, you should consider the amount of outdoor activities you’re involved in and the impact level of these activities.
How to Determine if Your Sunglasses are Polarized
If you’re unsure if your sunglasses are polarized, here are some ways to test them and find out:
- If you’re near water, look into the water with your sunglasses on. If they are polarized, you should be able to see better into the water.
- When driving on a sunny day, the light reflected off of cars and asphalt should be reduced if wearing polarized sunglasses.
- Polarized lenses also help reduce haze. If the day is hazy, and your sunglasses are polarized, you should be able to notice an improvement in your visual acuity.
- When looking at a computer screen, polarized lenses will make the monitor’s brightness seem to go up and down if you tilt your head left and right.
- Polarized lenses are usually darker than a normal lens, but they also come in an array of different colors such as gray, brown, green and other colors.
If polarized lenses seem like a great fit for your lifestyle, stop by any Stanton Optical location and shop our extensive designer eyewear collection and upgrade your lenses to polarized lenses!