Approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are affected by colorblindness. It is also known as color vision deficiency. Even though,it is not a disease, you can’t do certain things if you are colorblind.
Do you know how colorblind people see the world? Do you know why the Facebook logo is blue? Yes, blue is considered the color of clear communication. Apart from that, there is another reason why Mark Zuckerberg chose blue for the famous social networking app Facebook.
And it is….he is red-green colorblind. Yes, it is right. Colorblindness is very common and you can find it in people around you.
Types of Colorblindness
There are different types of colorblindness along with different degrees. Some people with mild colorblindness can see almost all of the colors but in dim shades. Some of them can’t differentiate between similar shades of color.
Red-green Color Deficiency
It is the most common type of colorblindness. It is hard to identify red and green as individual colors if you are a red-green colorblind.
- Deuteronomy makes the green look redder.
- Protanomaly makes red look more green and less bright.
- But if you are suffering from Protanopia or Deuteranopia, you can’t differentiate red and green visually.
Blue-yellow Color Deficiency
It is difficult to distinguish between blue and green as well as yellow and red.
- Tritanomaly makes you confused between blue and green, and yellow and red. You can see the colors but can’t identify them correctly.
- Tritanopia won’t let you see blue, green, yellow, red, purple, pink incorrect shades. Also, colors will be less bright. You will see the world in a greenish pink tone!
Now, think of a person who doesn’t have a color vision at all. He can’t see the colorful world. To him, everything is just shades of grey. Though it is a rare type of colorblindness, it exists. The complete colorblindness is called Monochromacy.
Just to remind you that colorblindness is not a disease. It creates a hindrance to detect colors with different shades properly. But, why this happens?
What causes Color Vision Deficiency?
Human eyes have two kinds of photoreceptors Rods and Cones. Rods help us to see in low-light mode, mostly black and white. On contrary, we can visualize colors due to cones. Three different types of cones each absorb light of different wavelengths.
Around 7-10% of men have some form of color vision deficiency. But the surprising fact is that why a higher percentage of men than women are colorblind?
It is due to recessive genes in your DNA. It is the genetic mutation of the X Chromosome. If men get a copy of the gene they will express it as they have only one X Chromosome. On the other hand, women have two X Chromosomes. So, if women get one defected X Chromosome from their parents, they won’t express any type of colorblindness. Because another X Chromosome will overlap the genetic mutation. They will be carriers of defective genes responsible for it.
When your genes get mutated, one or multiple cones may not function properly. Hence, you become colorblind by birth.
How to Test Colorblindness
It is important to measure one’s color vision correctly. Some people are colorblind, but they don’t realize it. They know roses are red. So, they think the color they see in their vision is “red”.
Do you doubt whether you have color vision deficiency? You can clarify your confusion through tests. You must visit to doctor to conduct these tests.
- Ishihara Color Test
- Hue Test
Difficulties of Colorblind People in Daily Life
People with color vision deficiency have to face challenges in their daily life. They generally face difficulties to understand traffic lights properly. Therefore, many countries across the world have laws that you won’t get a driving license if you are colorblind. You can’t join the military forces or be a pilot if you have color vision deficiency. You may face obstacles to perform daily work like cooking, clothing, or even buying food!
How to Adjust
- You can memorize the vertical positions of the traffic light. Instead of color, you may try to remember the shapes of the traffic signs. It is a great initiative that now bluish green is used instead of pure green in the traffic light. It makes color detection easier for colorblind people.
- You can use labeling to perform everyday tasks. A colorblind people can buy fruits and vegetables if there are labels on them. You can do color labeling on your clothes. It will help you find the proper outfit you are looking for.
- While cooking depends on the temperature of the food instead of color. It will make cooking easier for you.
Are you feeling sad for them? They can’t see the beautiful rainbows accurately. Their world is different from ours. They can’t enjoy the variety of colors.
The truth is that there is no cure for colorblindness. But, in the era of technology, you can lead a hassle-free life even if have color vision deficiency. There are modern gadgets as well as apps for them. Even a colorblind person can be a graphics designer as there is an individual color palette for them. In fact web developers, nowadays, try to design websites considering the colorblind as well.
Color Blindness Glasses & Contact Lenses
Red-green color blindness is the most common. There is special kind of eyeglasses and contact lenses that helps to identify color accurately. These special eyeglasses filter certain wavelengths of light to distinguish between red and green. It can’t cure the deficiency but help you to live with it.
The colorblind-friendly lenses are usually tinted deep red. So, it blocks out a lot of green light. Then the green objects will look much darker wearing the lenses. Hence, you can easily differentiate between red and green. These remedies will work only if you have mild color blindness.
Visual Aid Apps
Now, there are several apps to help you detect the colors accurately. You just need to install any of the apps you like. You have to click pictures with the app and it will show you the accurate colors. Color simulation technique is used in these visual aid apps.
Here are some mobile apps mentioned below.
- Colorblind Helper & Simulator
- Colorblind Pal
These apps are easy to use. Also, there are apps to test your color blindness and measure it. Especially, children need to get checked at an early age of their life. Because a child with a color vision deficiency may face difficulties in his school.
A cybernetic device named “Eyeborg” allows you to hear sound representing different colors. So, don’t be sad if you are colorblind. You can still be a painter with the help of it!
You can still enjoy a normal life if you have mild color vision deficiency. Color blindness is rare. Around 1% of people all over the world are color blind. They see the whole world within just three shades black, white and grey. People who have only one defective cone in their eyes suffer from color vision deficiency, not color blindness. They can see colors but can’t realize the difference between shades and hues.
So, it has no permanent remedy. But scientists are trying to find out effective gene therapy to remove the defective cones. Let’s hope for the best.