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Color vision deficiency means that your ability to distinguish colors and shades is less than normal. It occurs when the color-sensitive cells in the eye (cone photoreceptors) do not correctly process the colors in images focused onto the back of the eye (the retina).
Many people confuse the terms color blind with color deficient. True color blindness is very rare, and in those cases, patients do not see any colors at all - everything is seen in shades of gray. This occurs when there are no cone photorecptors in the eye and is usually accompanied by severely blurred vision that is uncorrectable with glasses or contacts.
Because many learning materials are color-coded, it is important to diagnose color vision deficiency early in life. This is why the American Optometric Association recommends a comprehensive optometric examination before a child begins school. Additionally, some professions require normal color vision, so color deficiencies can prevent patients from going into those professions.
Color vision deficiency is usually inherited. Roughly eight percent of men and one percent of women are color deficient. Color deficiencies cannot be cured, but those affected can often be taught to adapt to the inability to distinguish colors. If you or a loved one has color blindness, we have Enchroma glasses that can in some cases help you see colors more correctly! Give us a call if you would like to talk to our doctors about Enchroma glasses! (Siloam Spring 479-524-5161 or Gravette Eye Clinic 479-323-7005)
According to Enchroma.com, "Color blindness (also called color vision deficiency by vision scientists), is a condition in which the retinal cone cells respond to light differently than normal. People with color blindness can usually still see colors but have color confusions or see certain pairs of colors so similarly that they cannot tell them apart." The picture above shows two examples of what colors might look like with Deutan and Protan colorblindness. One reason for colorblindness is that the red and green-sensitive retinal cones responding extremely similarly.