What is Color Blindness?

Posted by administration on June 23, 2015


Color-blindness is a deficiency in the way a person sees color. According to the staff at Great Plains Eye Specialistsin Rapid City, a person with color blindness is unable to distinguish the differences between certain colors. This condition results from an absence of color-sensitive pigment in the cone cells of the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye.

The symptoms of color vision problems vary:

  • You may be able to see some colors but not others. For instance, you may not be able to tell the difference between some reds and greens (the most common type of color blindness) or not be able to distinguish red from orange, but can see blue and yellow easily. In rare cases, some people see only black, white and gray.
  • You may see many colors, so you may not know that you see color differently from others.
  • While most people can see thousands of colors, you may only be able to see a few shades of color.

Most people with color blindness are born with it, although it can develop during the aging process as well.  Other causes of color blindness include:

  • Parkinson’s disease (PD). Because Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder, light-sensitive nerve cells in the retina where vision processing occurs may be damaged and cannot function properly.
  • Cataracts. Fortunately, cataract surgery can restore bright color vision when the cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens.
  • Tiagabine for epilepsy. An antiepileptic drug known as Tiagabine has been shown to reduce color vision in some users.
  • Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). Particularly prevalent among males.
  • Kallman’s syndrome. This inherited condition involves failure of the pituitary gland. Color blindness can be one symptom of this condition.

If you are concerned that you may have color blindness, contact the eye care professionals at Great Plains Eye Specialistsin Rapid City at 605-718-5123.


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