Color blindness is a diminished quality of vision against color that is generally passed on the children from parents since birth. Color blind people tend to have difficulity seeing red, blue, green or mixed colors. The case of total color blindness is very rare and most color blind people can adapt to this condition so it is not always considered a serious condition. Some cases of color blindness can also be experienced in the adult life phase.
Symptoms of Color Blindness
Colorblind people may only see some color gradations, while most normal people can see hundreds of colors. Other symptoms, some people with color blindness can not distinguish between red and green, but can see the blue and yellow with ease. Some people do not even realize that they experience color blindness before undergoing color vision tests.
Types of Color Blindness
Most people with color blindness will be difficult to distinguish the gradations of red, yellow, and green like orange and brown. This type is called the red-green blind. This type also makes people difficult to distinguish between red and black and various gradations of purple. Men have a tendency to experience color blindness of this type is greater than women. The most rare type of color blindness is the blue-yellow color blind where the sufferer can not distinguish blue, green, and yellow.
A color-blind person from any of the above conditions can see the colors are duller than those with normal vision.
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Causes of Color Blindness
The process of seeing colors across the spectrum of light begins with the natural ability of the eye to distinguish the basic colors, such as red, blue, and green. However, the eyes of a color blind can not see or distinguish colors as normal eyes. This occurs because there is a pigment disorder in the color vision receptor (cone cells in the eye). When one of the pigments is gone, then the eye will have problems in seeing a certain color.
In many cases, color blindness is caused by genetic factors of the elderly, but may be due to side effects of a pre-existing treatment or health disorder.
There are several causes of someone experiencing color blindness, including:
- Genetic factors. Most color blind people who experience it from birth are caused by genetic factors that bind to the X chromosome. A color blind father will not have a child who suffers from color blindness unless his partner has color-blind genes. This may be because women are more instrumental in being carriers of genes ( carriers ) that will inherit color blindness to children. Color blindness due to genetic factors is also much more common in men than women, although sometimes this condition can pass a generation. Girls are assured of having color blindness if both parents are carriers of the color-blind genes.
- Disease. There are a number of diseases that can cause color blindness, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, blood cancer (leukemia), diabetes, chronic alcoholic addicts, macular degeneration, and sickle cell anemia.
- Age. A person's ability to differentiate color slowly decreases with age. This is a natural thing in the aging process and does not need to be over-worried.
- Chemical material. One can experience color blindness if exposed to toxic chemicals, such as at work, such as carbon disulfide and fertilizers.
- Certain side effects of treatment. Some treatments have the potential to cause color blindness, such as digoxin, phenytoin, chloroquine, and sildenafil. If the disorder is caused by treatment, usually the view will return to normal after stopping taking the drug.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Color Blindness
Most cases of color blindness are caused by genetic factors, but can also develop after birth. There are several tests that can be done to diagnose color blindness, including:
- Ishihara test. This test is most commonly used to diagnose color blindness, but can only diagnose blindness of red-green. Patients will be asked to recognize the numbers that are vaguely listed in an image formed from colored dots.
- Test preparation. This test is done by arranging colored objects in different color gradation arrangements, then the patient will be asked to arrange the colored objects according to the color gradation they see.
It is important for parents to be able to recognize the characteristics and symptoms of color blindness early on because this condition can have an impact on the child's learning ability. Children who are color-blind will find it difficult to live their daily activities at home and outside the home, including at school if the teacher is not aware of the problem as well. Some examples of other important activities that could be disrupted are:
- Difficulty distinguishing traffic signs.
- Distinguish drugs that are not labeled properly.
- Distinguishes cooked and raw meat.
- Affects job choices that require accurate color recognition, such as engineers, air traffic guides, pilots, and electricians.
The symptoms of color blindness can still be reduced by treating the underlying conditions or if the color blindness suffered is caused by certain medications or pre-existing health disorders.