Accessibility View Close toolbar

Color Blindness

Image of a teenage boy staring into the distance.

Color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency, occurs when an individual cannot distinguish between certain colors like red and green or, less commonly, blue and yellow.

Cause of Color Blindness

Light-sensitive tissue, the retina, lines the back of the eye and consists of two types of light distinguishing cells: rods and cones. While rods detect or see light and dark, cones are responsible for detecting color and sending the information to the brain for processing. Your eye has three types of cones; one for perceiving red, another for blue, and third for green. In a healthy eye, the cones work together to facilitate your ability to see a broad range of colors. When one or more type of cone functions abnormally, color deficiency occurs.

Color Blindness Symptoms

Depending on which cones are affected, the symptoms of color blindness range from mild to severe. Mild color blindness is defined as difficulty distinguishing colors in low light, and severe color blindness can leave someone seeing only a range of grey tones. Symptoms of color blindness include having difficulty seeing colors or their brightness, and the inability to distinguish between different colors. People with color blindness most frequently have a hard time telling the difference between red and green or blue and yellow.

Risk Factors for Color Blindness

Most individuals with color deficiency are born with it. Congenital color blindness is usually inherited as a genetic trait passed down from mother to son. Males are much more likely than females to inherit color deficiency, experiencing color blindness from birth.

Color blindness, however, can develop as the result of disease, medical conditions, trauma, or as a side effect of medication. Conditions that may lead to color blindness include macular degeneration, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and alcoholism. Color blindness which develops later in life as the result of a condition is known as acquired color deficiency.

Diagnosis and Treatment

An eye care professional diagnoses color blindness with a simple test. The patient is shown diagrams comprised of differently colored dots. Color blind individuals will not be able to distinguish shapes or numbers hidden among the dots in a different color.

While there is no cure for congenital color blindness, special lenses for glasses or contacts have been developed to help color deficient individuals distinguish between colors. Acquired color blindness can sometimes be treated by addressing the underlying cause.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you.

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Dallas Office

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Lance and his staff were awesome. I am grateful."
    Shan J.

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Curbing Macular Degeneration

    Macular degeneration represents one of the most significant causes of vision loss in older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.8 million people currently suffer from macular degeneration, with an additional 7.3 million people at risk of developing this ...

    Read More
  • Premature Babies and Vision Problems

    Prematurity can cause a range of vision problems. Fortunately, optometrists offer a range of treatments and devices that can improve your child's ability to see. ...

    Read More
  • What Do Your Eyes Say About Your Health?

    Subtle changes in your eyes may be the first signs of a health problem. ...

    Read More
  • Makeup Tips for Sensitive Eyes

    Does your cosmetics make your eyes water and burn? Try these makeup tips for sensitive eyes. ...

    Read More
  • How to Clean Your Eyeglasses

    Do you know how to clean your eyeglasses correctly? Take a look a few tips that will keep your specs cleaner. ...

    Read More
  • All About Amblyopia

    Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a visual disorder caused by abnormal vision development, often occurring during infancy. Patients with amblyopia have reduced vision in one eye, because it is not working properly in conjunction with the brain. With early detection and proper treatment, loss of ...

    Read More
  • All About Glaucoma

    Glaucoma is a serious disorder that can damage the optic nerves of your eyes if left untreated. The optic nerve carries images from your eyes to your brain. If the nerve is damaged, full or partial vision loss can occur. In some cases, people develop glaucoma because the pressure in their eyes begins ...

    Read More
  • Binocular Vision: Disorders and Treatment

    For many, the term binocular vision conjures images of super powers or the rare ability to spot objects far away, but having binocular vision simply means having two eyes with which to see. Binocular vision does lend creatures with two eyes advantages over those with only one, such as enhanced vision, ...

    Read More
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: What Is It?

    Diabetic retinopathy refers to several eye problems that are characterized by damage to the light-sensitive retina, caused by excessive blood sugar levels. Almost half of Americans with diabetes suffer from some level of diabetic retinopathy. When glucose levels in the blood are not properly controlled, ...

    Read More
  • Glaucoma Care: What You Need to Know

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, reports the Glaucoma Research Foundation. This common eye condition typically affects older adults, although infants and young adults are also at risk. Fortunately, however, cutting-edge research is improving diagnosis and treatment of this ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles