Those who are color blind can only see the world in shades of black, grey and white. This is a very unusual problem which can seriously affect their quality of life. Fortunately very few people suffer from being totally color blind, which is known as monochromacy. However being color deficient is far more common. As many as one in ten men is color deficient whilst only one in a hundred women suffer from this strange problem. This casts a whole new light on men’s dress sense, but at least they now have an excuse! Color deficiency is when one color is confused with another. The only way to find out whether you are color deficient is to ask your doctor for a test. The Ishihara color test, which consists of a series of pictures of colored spots, is most often used to diagnose red-green color deficiencies. A number is embedded in the picture as a number of spots in a slightly different color which can be seen with normal color vision, but not with a particular color defect. The full set of tests has a variety of color combinations, and enables the diagnosis of which particular visual defect is present.
What is Color Deficiency?
Layers of tissue inside our eyes make up what is called the retina. The retina captures the image, a little like a camera, and allows us to see. Within the retinal tissue there are photoreceptors called rods and cones. The rods are responsible for saturation and night vision. The cones are responsible for our color vision and there are three types. The Protan is responsible for red-green color, Deutan is responsible for the blue-green color and Tritan is responsible for blue-yellow color.
A deficiency in any of these cones will produce confusion between the colors. Protan deficiency is the most common which is the red-green photoreceptor disorder involving difficulties in discriminating reds, yellows and greens from one another. The blue-yellow Tritan deficiency is very rare indeed. Color deficiency is hereditary and congenital in most cases. It can also be the result of brain damage or be due to the exposure to certain chemicals. It usually does not disrupt the sufferer’s life to a great degree. It was first discovered by English chemist John Dalton in 1793. Occasionally it can be progressive but usually remains the same. Some occupations are not advised for those with a color deficiency when color is a matter of life and death, such as in the fire service. While most people can differentiate between shades of one color and another, to a color deficient person all the shades will look the same color. The world does not look completely different, but some shades and tones are lost.
What Can do Done About Color Deficiency?
If you are found to be color deficient and it is affecting your quality of life, there are some amazing contact lenses and eyeglasses available to help sufferers to distinguish the colors from one another better. Those in the military, working with electronics, law enforcement officers, engineers and those working with graphics and fine arts may also wish to consider the Color Correction System which is now available with enhancement lenses. These cleverly designed contact lenses or glasses adjust deficiencies of brightness, hue and saturation to balance color vision with a 100% success rate in tests to discern color. As well as improving the lives of color blind children, these color-vision lenses can improve the quality of sports and recreational activities as well as enjoying the arts better. More information on this revolutionary product can be found at: www.colormax.org