What is Color Blindness?

color blindness stanton optical

You’ve probably heard of color blindness, but do you really know what it is?

Color blindness, or color vision deficiency, affects more men than women. About 8% of men and 0.5% of women are born colorblind worldwide. It results from a problem with development of the retinal cones.

The retina of our eyes contain photoreceptors called rods and cones. The rods are sensitive to light while the cones distinguish between colors. A problem with the color-sensitive pigment in the cones leads to the various types of color blindness.

Most people with color blindness either have a blue-yellow color deficiency or a red-green color deficiency. It is rare for anyone to experience complete color blindness, or not being able to see any color at all.

Color Blindness Causes

  • Inherited – people born color blind
  • Aging
  • Eye disease – glaucoma, cataracts, etc
  • Eye injury
  • Side effect of certain medications

Test for Color Blindness

Ishihara color blind test

 The Ishihara color test is a series of pseudoisochromatic plates, made up of different sized colored dots. People with no color deficiency are able to see either a number or wiggly lines in each image. The test, named after professor Shinobu Ishihara, is a common way to decide if someone has a red-green color deficiency.

Dr. Ishihara was an ophthalmologist at the University of Tokyo and surgeon in the Imperial Japanese Army. He was asked to come up with a way to screen military recruits for color blindness. The Ishihara Color Test was first published in 1917 and still in use by eye doctors today.

Routine Eye Exam

Color blindness screening is one of many tests conducted during a comprehensive eye examination. Come into Stanton Optical location near you  for a vision check from a licensed eye care professional. A Doctor of Optometry will check your eyes and give you a current prescription for corrective eyewear, and our expert eyewear specialist will aid you in choosing the best frame for you and your lifestyle.