Millions of people globally suffer from colour blindness, a condition that changes how they see the world. From difficulties with everyday tasks like differentiating traffic signals to limited career options, this can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. In this article, we will discuss the causes for colour blindness, the diagnosis and treatments available.
What is Colour Blindness?
Colour blindness, also known as colour vision deficiency, is a condition in which the ability to see and discriminate between colours is compromised. People who have it may find it difficult to detect red, green, and sometimes blue colour in natural light. Red-green colour deficiency is the most common variation of this condition.
What Causes Colour Blindness?
The retina of our eyes comprises of two types of light-detecting cells: rods and cones. Rods let us differentiate between darkness and light, at night. Cones, on the other hand, have excellent spatial acuity and can detect colour. There are three types of cones, each of which reacts to a particular range of wavelengths. If any of them are missing or not functioning correctly, it may result in colour blindness, which affects the identification of specific colours.
Many cases of colour blindness are inherited, which means it is passed down through genes from parents to their offspring. However, this condition also can include injury to the brain, eye, or nerve cells, cataracts, ageing, disruption to the part of the brain that receives colour information, and chemical or physical trauma to the eye.
Diagnosis of Colour Blindness
Colour blindness can be diagnosed using a variety of approaches by doctors. Most convenient & reliable is a clinical examination, which includes evaluating the eyes with the Ishihara chart Test. In this method, the doctor uses plates of different coloured dots that form a visible pattern for people with normal vision, but can be difficult or impossible to see for those with colour blindness.
What are the Treatments for Colour Blindness?
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for colour blindness at this time. Most people with this eye condition learn to adjust to their environment and rarely have any serious problems. However, if difficulties with colour perception are faced in daily tasks, there are special glasses or contact lenses that can be used. Also, there are some computer software and applications for smartphones that enhance colour identification and modify the hues of the screen.
Visit your eye doctor for further guidance & help for the same. Dr Surbhi Kapadia is a full time ophthalmologist at Aadicura superspeciality hospital, Vadodara. For appointments – 8980500015.