colour blindness types


Colour Blindness Types, Symptoms, Treatment

If any person has color blindness, then the colors visible to that person are different from the rest of the common people. But yes it would not be wrong to say that having it can have a great impact on your lifestyle and lifestyle. There are so many Colour Blindness Types.

What is Colour Blindness

Colour blindness is a condition in which the normal ability to distinguish certain colors is lost. This means that a person suffering from color blindness has trouble seeing red, green, blue, or a combination thereof. It is very rare for a person to lose his ability to see colors (this is called monochromacy). Many people believe that a person suffering from color blindness sees only black and white colors. This is a misconception. There are many different types and levels of Colour blindness. The prevalence of color blindness in India is 8% among men and only 0.5% among women.

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How do we see colour?

The human eye sees color by slightly stimulating the retina (the membrane on the inside of the eye). The retina is made up of rod and cone cells.

Rod cells are located in the periphery of the retina. It helps us to see at night, but it cannot differentiate between colors. Cone cells are located in the center of the retina, it does not help to see at night. But is able to perceive colors during the daytime.

Color blindness can be self-diagnosed. It occurs when the cone cells that sense color are unable to send signals to the brain. This is usually either due to familial causes or by diseases of the optic nerve or retina. This problem is linked to the X-chromosome and is almost always passed from a mother to her son.

Color blindness can be caused by aging, eye problems, eye injuries. And as a side effect of certain medicines. Color blindness due to family reasons lasts for a lifetime. The color blindness of red-green colors is due to family reasons. This is one of the most common types of Colour blindness.

Colour Blindness Types

There are three types of colour blindness, each of which has sub-types –

Red-Green Color Blindness

The most common type of family-caused color blindness is due to loss or poor functioning of the red cone or green cone pigments. There are four types of red-green Colour blindness –


This color blindness is caused by abnormal red cone pigment. In this type of color blindness, red, orange, and yellow appear green and the colors are not bright. This condition is benign and usually does not affect daily life.


In this color blindness, the red cone pigments stop working and the red color appears black. Some variants of orange, yellow and green all appear as yellow.


This is the most common type of color blindness. It has an unusual green cone pigment. In this, yellow and green appear red and purple, and blue are difficult to distinguish. This condition is benign and usually does not affect daily life.


In this color blindness, the green cone pigments stop working. They see red colors as brownish-yellow and green as dark yellow.

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Blue-Yellow Color Blindness

Blue-yellow color blindness is rarer than red-green color blindness. In this, the blue cone pigment (triton) is either absent or has a limited function. There are two types of blue-yellow color blindness.


In this, the blue cone pigments work less. In this blue color appears green and it can be difficult to differentiate between pink and yellow and red.


People with tritanopia lack blue cone cells. In this, the blue color appears green and the yellow color appears purple or light brown.

Complete Color Blindness – Monochromacy

People with complete color blindness (monochromacy) cannot see colors at all. And their clarity of vision may also be affected. There are two types of monochromacy –

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Cone monochromacy

In this, two or all three of the three-cone cell pigments do not work. The red cone is monochromacy, the green cone is monochromic and the blue cone is monochromacy. People with cone monochromacy have trouble distinguishing colors because the brain needs signals from different types of cones to see colors. This comparison is not possible when only one type of cone works.

Rod monochromacy

It is present from birth. It does not contain any of the functional pigments in the cone cells. People with rod monochromacy see the world in black, white, and gray. People with rod monochromacy are photophobic and very uncomfortable in bright environments.

Colour Blindness Symptoms

  • Trouble seeing colors and the brightness of colors in a normal way.
  • Inability to tell the difference between normal colors.
  • Inability to recognize certain colors. For example not being able to tell the difference between red and green, but can easily tell between blue and yellow.
  • Seeing only certain colors.
  • Seeing only black, white, and gray colors (in debilitated cases).
  • Some colors Decreased ability to differentiate.
  • Difficulty in reading.
  • Drooping of eyelashes.
  • Seeing only a few types of one colour.
  • Difficulty seeing multiple colours.
  • Misrepresentation of color names.
  • Double vision (diplopia).
  • Eye pain.
  • Intensity in eye movement (in rare cases).
  • Color blindness does not affect the sharpness of vision, except in the most severe form.
  • Occasionally, Weakness of vision

Colour Blindness Causes

If your eyes are normal, you can distinguish different colors but if your cone cells lack one or more light-sensitive chemicals, you can see only two primary colors. Color blindness can be due to the following reasons –

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Familial Disorders

Color vision problems due to familial causes are more common in men than in women. The most common color blindness is red-green while blue-yellow color blindness is very rare. The chances of not seeing any color are very less. You may have a mild, moderate, or severe level of disorder because of a familial disorder. Color blindness caused by a familial disorder usually affects both eyes and its intensity does not change over your lifetime.


Some conditions that can cause color blindness are sickle cell anemia, diabetes, macular degeneration of the eye (degeneration of the macula), Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, chronic alcoholism, and leukemia. In this, one eye may be affected more than the other. And color blindness can be treated if the disease associated with it is treated.

Certain medications

Some drugs treat heart problems, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, infections, neurological disorders. And psychological problems can also cause color blindness.


As you age, your ability to see colors gradually decreases.

Prevention of Colour Blindness

  • Color blindness is usually diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Therefore, children should be tested for color blindness at the age of 4. It is not preventable, but it does not pose any health hazards. It may cause discomfort but it does not interfere with everyday life.
  • Most cases of color blindness are due to family causes, therefore, they cannot be prevented.
  • However, early diagnosis of color blindness in children can help in understanding its nature and severity. This allows measures to be used to control any subsequent effects and reduce difficulties.
  • If you are taking any medicines related to loss of vision, then you should have regular check-up of your vision.

Color Blindness Test

Ishihara Color Test

The Ishihara Color Test is the most common test for red-green color blindness. In this, you are shown a set of colored dots and instructed to try to find a pattern in them, such as a letter or a number. Based on the patterns you can see, your doctor can determine what is causing your problem.

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Newer Cambridge Color Test

The Newer Cambridge Color Test is similar to the Ishihara Color Test but takes place on a computer monitor. In this, you have to identify the C shape which is different from the color of the back.


Two different light sources are used in the Anomaloscope test. The goal is to match the brightness and color of both sources of light.

Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test

In this, you are asked to arrange some colored chips on the basis of similarity of color. People with color vision problems are unable to arrange color chips correctly.

Colour Blindness Treatment

  • If your color blindness is hereditary, then there are no treatments available for this color blindness. But if the color blindness is a side effect of other diseases or medicines, then it can be cured by treating the disease.
  • If you are taking certain medications that cause color blindness, discontinuing the drugs may improve your color vision loss.
  • Some other methods for identifying colors include wearing normal filtered glasses or using gadgets that help detect colors.
  • Colored contact lenses can make some colors appear dim or bright and can help with some color vision deficiencies. Some people claim that wearing lenses in one eye helps with their vision and functioning. However, it’s not like lenses actually help them see more colors. Lenses can blur vision and create other dangerous conditions.
  • An electronic eye is a handheld device that recognizes colors. In this instrument, there is an audio synthesizer which detects the color and speaks it aloud.

These methods are a temporary treatment to overcome a person’s lack of color vision.

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