Did you know that between 8 and 10 percent of males in the United States have trouble telling the difference between red and green colors? Color vision deficiency, also known as color blindness, is the inability to differentiate between colors. Since the eye is made of up three types of cone cells, which allow individuals to see red, green or blue light, there are three primary types of color blindness that individuals can experience.

The first and most common type of color blindness is known as red-green where patients have trouble deciphering between these two colors. The second is blue-yellow and the third, which is far less common, is known as achromatopsia in which an individual can’t sees only gray, black and white.

The majority of vision impairments related to color vision are genetic, which means individuals are born with the problem. For instance, the most common aliment, red-green color blindness occurs mainly in males because it is due to a faulty gene on the X chromosome. While women may not exhibit signs of the problem, they can be carriers of the gene. It’s estimated that as many as 10 percent of Caucasian males suffer from red-green color blindness.

Blue-yellow color blindness is far less common than red-green and can occur in both men and women in equal measure. Only about an estimated 5 percent of people have this type of color blindness. It is also caused by a mutation in the gene.

Still, not all color vision deficiencies are inherited. These can occur as the result of aging, disease or damage to the eye. Glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and macular degeneration are all examples of diseases that can affect the color vision of the eyes.

Your local West Palm Beach eye doctor can provide tests to determine if you are suffering from color vision deficiencies. Your eye doctor may also recommend an exam for children between the ages of 3 and 5 to determine if there are any vision issues before entering into school.

In certain cases, there are options that your eye doctor can provide to help lessen the impact of color vision deficiencies, including prescribing colored contact lenses that can help provide normal color vision, or surgical options if the impairment is the result of a cataract.
If you notice changes in your range of vision, or you notice your child is unable to tell the difference between colors, schedule an appointment with your Planet Vision eye doctor today.