Color blindness: causes, symptoms, and treatment

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Color blindness: causes, symptoms, and treatment

Color blindness causes

What is color blindness?

Color blindness, or color deficiency, refers to a condition in which you may have difficulty distinguishing certain colors. It occurs due to a difference in one or more light-sensitive cells that respond to certain colors found in the retina.

The range of this complex visualization can vary from mild to severe. The majority of colorblind people suffer from mild color blindness, and they find it difficult to differentiate between certain colors, such as shades of red and green or, less prevalently, shades of blue and yellow. However, complete colorblindness- the condition in which the patient can’t see any color except for the shades of black and white, is quite rare.

Causes and risk factors of color blindness

The causes and risk factors of color blindness are as follows:


Color blindness is usually inherited. If you have a family history of color blindness, you are prone to develop color blindness.


Older people are at more risk of having color blindness.


Men are more likely to be born with color blindness- About 1 in 12 men are colorblind, compared with about 1 in 200 women. 


Certain eye diseases such as glaucoma and age-related cataracts can lead to color blindness. Certain metabolic diseases, vascular diseases, and some medications also can cause color blindness.


Damage to the eye or brain also poses a risk of color blindness.

Exposure to chemicals 

Exposure to some chemicals such as carbon disulfide in the workplace may also cause color deficiency.

Symptoms of color blindness

The mild symptoms of color blindness may go unnoticed. However, the symptoms become apparent at a young age when children learn their colors. The common symptoms of color blindness are:

  • Difficulty in distinguishing between colors
  • Inability to perceive shades of the same color
  • Colors look less bright than before

Diagnosis for color blindness 

Ishihara color test 

Ishihara color test is used globally to primarily detect red-green color blindness. This test involves simply visualizing a series of circles consisting of different-colored dots. It is mostly used for routine color vision screening in schools or medical.

Farnsworth-Munsell 100 test

Also known as hue discrimination, this color blind test consists of blocks of different shades of the same color to study if you can identify color changes.

Color blindness treatment 

Color blindness associated with some underlying condition or eye disease can be treated with medication. However, there is no cure for color blindness that is congenital, but special glasses and corrective lenses can help.

Contact lenses 

Wearing a colored filter over eyeglasses or a colored contact lens may help patients with red-green deficiency see the difference between colors. Though it doesn’t improve their ability to see all colors, it can enhance their perception of contrast between confusing colors. 

Gene therapy 

Gene therapy is an experimental therapy for the treatment of color blindness that aims to restore the genes that are responsible for coding the fault/lacking light-sensitive pigment. Researchers are working on this to convert congenitally colorblind individuals to trichromats(any person with normal color vision).

Color blindness apps

There are color blindness apps for smartphones and digital devices for color blindness treatment in India. These apps allow users to detect the colors of objects and help the patients identify colors.

Mahaveer Eye Hospital is the best eye hospital in Pune. We are state of the art, and we use cutting-edge technology to treat all kinds of eye problems such as retinal diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. To know more about our services, book an appointment with us today!

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