A condition that stimulates blindness towards certain colors in a way that the person is unable to find the difference in the color is defined as Colorblindness. People suffering from this vision deficiency often find it hard to identify red and green, or blue and yellow.  Colorblindness is usually caused due to genetic deficiency in the retina. However, there are a few other factors that can lead to color blindness that you will learn below.

What is Colorblindness?

The condition in which the person loses his/her ability to identify a few colours is called Colorblindness. It is a form of colour vision deficiency which allows the affected individual from differentiating between the colours. The colour that can’t be identified by the person usually appears in black and white to them. Or in some cases, the colour appears as red when its green or visa-versa. It disables their ability to identify the difference in colours. It is a relatively rare condition which affects only 9% of the world population. Interestingly it affects 8% men while only 0.5% of women according to Wikipedia.com.  

Symptoms of Colorblindness

  • Losing the ability to differentiate between colours (Blue & Yellow or Red & Green)
  • Inheritance – Colorblindness is mostly transferred via inheritance.

What causes colour blindness?

Colourblindness is caused due to the failure in light-sensitive cells present in the retina that helps in providing the vision of the array of colors by responding to multiple wavelengths of light.

Retina consists of photoreceptors called cones and rods. Rods consist of a large number in the retina with approximately over 100 million.  Rods, however, don’t have the ability to perceive with the colours. A human retina has more than 7 million cones that help in colourful vision, which present in the macula (the centre part of the retina). And within the centre of the macula is Fovea (0.3mm) that is responsible for producing an acute colour vision.

Deficiency in the number of cones can lead to disbalance in the functioning of the vision and the identification of colour.

Causes of Colorblindness

Genetics – Cone deficiency in the retina or absence of cones since birth can lead to colourblindness due to inheritance.

Parkinson’s Disease – A form of neurological disorder, that damages the light-sensor cells in the retina, which are responsible for the vision, preventing the eye from seeing certain the colours. 

Cataracts – Clouding on cataracts, the natural lens of the eyes can also lead to making the visionless bright washing out the colours. Luckily it can be easily cured with a cataract surgery which helps in restoring the vision back to its natural conditions.

Kallman’s Syndrome – It is an inherited condition that causes pituitary gland failure that can lead to unusual or incomplete gender-related development in the body like sexual organs. This condition causes colourblindness as its major symptom.

Tiagabine for Epilepsy – The consumption of Tiagabine (antiepileptic drug) can lead to the reduction of vision clarity by 41%. However, its effects are not found to be permanent.

LHON (Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy) – Typically, prevalent in males, is a type of optic neuropathy inherited from parents, that affects the colour vision at a lower level, without showing any particular symptoms. It mostly affects the vision for red-green colour.  

Treatment for Colorblindness

Gene Therapy

In this procedure, the patient is put under gene medication that promotes the production of cones in the retina to help enhance the colour vision.

Colour Lens

In this treatment, surgeons permanently attach a lens to the patient's eye that works as the missing cones to help allow the vision to identify different colours.

You can explore our blog to learn more about colourblindness and different eye procedure that can help you permanently deal with any deficiency or failure.