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Reason why Some People have Problems with Seeing Some Colours

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 19, 2015
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Color defect affects men more than women.
  • The condition is inherited from parents.
  • The defect can vary person to person.
  • Most people adapt to the condition easily.

More

If you’ve headed off to work wearing one red sock and one green, maybe you’ve dressed in the dark—or maybe you have a color vision defect.

Eye Defect

How the Defect Occurs?

About 1 in every 76 Americans has a color vision defect, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The condition is usually inherited from your parents. Men are affected more often than women.

The defect affects cells in the back of the eye called cones, says Dr. Catherine Cukras, a staff clinician at NIH’s National Eye Institute (NEI).
Cones allow us to identify differences between colors. Each of the 3 types of cones is most sensitive to a particular color: red, green or blue. If any of the cone types are damaged or missing, you can’t distinguish between certain colors.

Eye Defect

The Trouble Caused

Most people who have color vision defects have trouble seeing differences among colors in the red-green range. Problems with colors in the blue-yellow range are less common. Even rarer is total color blindness, in which the eye can only recognize white, black and shades of gray.|

The defects can vary from person to person. “For some, the differences among colors are just not as obvious as for people who have normal color vision,” Cukras says. “For others, different colors can actually look exactly the same.”

Though color vision defects might be inconvenient for people whose careers depend on discerning colors—such as decorators—most people can adapt relatively easily.

“It just means that a lot of men have women pick out their ties,” Cukras says.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Eye Disorders.

If you’ve headed off to work wearing one red sock and one green, maybe you’ve dressed in the dark—or maybe you have a color vision defect.

How the Defect Occurs?

About 1 in every 76 Americans has a color vision defect, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The condition is usually inherited from your parents. Men are affected more often than women.

The defect affects cells in the back of the eye called cones, says Dr. Catherine Cukras, a staff clinician at NIH’s National Eye Institute (NEI).

Cones allow us to identify differences between colors. Each of the 3 types of cones is most sensitive to a particular color: red, green or blue. If any of the cone types are damaged or missing, you can’t distinguish between certain colors.

The Trouble Caused

Most people who have color vision defects have trouble seeing differences among colors in the red-green range. Problems with colors in the blue-yellow range are less common. Even rarer is total color blindness, in which the eye can only recognize white, black and shades of gray.

The defects can vary from person to person. “For some, the differences among colors are just not as obvious as for people who have normal color vision,” Cukras says. “For others, different colors can actually look exactly the same.”

Though color vision defects might be inconvenient for people whose careers depend on discerning colors—such as decorators—most people can adapt relatively easily.

“It just means that a lot of men have women pick out their ties,” Cukras says.

 

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