What is Color Blindness?
Color blindness is the inability to distinguish the differences between certain colors. Color blindness results from an absence of color-sensitive pigment in the cone cells of the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye. Most color vision problems are inherited; approximately 1 out of 12 males and 1 out of 20 females are color blind.
Color blindness is a gender-linked condition, caused by missing or damaged genes on the X-chromosome. Because males only have one X-chromosome, they are more likely to experience color blindness than females.
In some cases, color blindness can be acquired, most often as the result of another eye condition or injury to the eye. Eye conditions that may cause color blindness to occur are Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Cataracts or Diabetic Retinopathy.
Discover our visual aids for color blindness.
Normal vision vs. Color blindness
Color blindness may be described as total or partial, whereby total color blindness is much less common than partial color blindness. There are two major types of color blindness:
- Red-green color blindness: difficulty distinguishing between red and green (see figure 1)
- Blue-yellow color blindness: difficulty distinguishing between blue and yellow (see figure 2)
Color blindness 1
Color blindness 2
What to expect from Color Blindness
There is no cure for color blindness. Certain types of tinted filters and contact lenses may help you distinguish between different colors. We recommend you discuss your options with your eye care professional.
More information about Color Blindness
There is extensive information available about color blindness. The information included is intended to inform you about the basics of this eye condition, and is not intended as a replacement for information from your physician or eye specialist. Information regarding assistive devices that can help you if you have been diagnosed with color blindness is included. Our recommendations can be found under Tools and Resources.