We use colors so often in our lives, we can forget how important color truly is… but what if we were unable to identify colors that we see every day? (Neitz, P. M) Color blindness is the inability to tell the difference between specific colors. This is due to a genetic mutation that affects the retina. It is usually an inherited trait, but there are individuals who have been known to experience color blindness due to chemical imbalances or eye injuries. In the world, “about 8% of all men and about 0.5% of all women are suffering from color blindness” (Georgiev, D. (n.d.). Statistics.). Studies have found that the commonest forms of congenital color vision deficiency (also known as color blindness) are inherited in an X-linked recessive manner (Simunovic, M. P. (2009, November 20). Colour vision deficiency.).Our eyes have the capability to identify three primary colors; red, blue, and yellow. All of the other colors that we see are caused by different mixtures of red, blue, and yellows. Individuals who deal with color blindness cannot see one or more of these color groups.
Parts of our eye, called cones are responsible for recognizing color. People with normal vision have three different types of cones, each of them are all responsible different primary colors. Without particular cones, we can experience a lack of specific colors, which can be one cause of color blindness. Men are more likely to be color blind because of the way color blindness is inherited. The gene for the trait is located on the X chromosome. Men have one X chromosome and women have two, which means that the chances for men to inherit the color blindness gene is greater than women inheriting it (E., E., Sue, S., C., E., Yuzik, R., . . . E. (n.d.). Color Blindness – Inherited Or Acquired Defect). Two forms of color blindness are Dichromatism and Mono-Chromatism, which will be focused on in this paper.
Those with monochromatic vision, also known as color blindness, have no cones whatsoever. Because of this, they have do not have the ability to see colors and have no color judgment at all. Something to compare monochromatic vision to would be watching an old black and white movie (“Types of Colour Blindness.” Colour Blind Awareness). Whereas somebody with A-Typical monochromatic vision has only one type of cone and can only see one color and a variety of shades from that same color spectrum. This form is even more rare than the “typical” monochromatic. Another form of color blindness is known as Dichromatism. People with di-chromatic visiononly have two types of cones which are able to perceive color and have a tendency to confuse red, green, and some gray colors. The most common way of explaining this condition is to say that people who have it lack the ability to see color, but it has been discovered that it is a specific section of the light spectrum which can’t be identified. We know these areas of the light spectrum as red, green and blue (RGB) (“Types of Colour Blindness.” Colour Blind Awareness). People with both red and green color deficiencies view a world of greens that are muted and where blue and yellow shades stand out the most. Browns, oranges, reds, and greens are usually the most easily confused colors. Both types of color blindness will confuse blues with purples and both types will struggle to recognize light shades of most colors. (“Types of Colour Blindness.” Colour Blind Awareness).
Color blindness is a sex-linked characteristic, which is a trait that is linked to a gene that is carried only by the male or female parent. The gene for colorblindness is carried by the X-chromosome. Because the Y-chromosome is passed down to a child by their father, children can only inherit colorblindness if their mother is either a carrier for the trait or is colorblind herself. (Inherited Colour Vision Deficiency. (n.d.)). Color blindness has been found to either be active from birth or be progressive and only affect the individual later on in life (Causes. (2015, April 13)).
Color blindness has some disadvantages, such as limitations on what jobs are available, driving, and unmatched clothing (Dangers & Limitations. (2015, April 13)). For example; Jobs that require light signals such as pilots and describing other individuals such as police officers would be unavailable to those with color blindness as they would not be able to tell the difference between some colors. Driving with color blindness, while possible, is extremely dangerous as the individual would not be able to tell if they were supposed to stop or go, not only creating danger for themselves but other drivers as well.
Unfortunately, there is no cure that exists for color blindness, since it is caused by missing cones that are responsible for recognizing the colors we would normally see. If the color blindness is acquired, later on, there are some special aids have been developed to help individuals distinguish some of the colors that cause them trouble (Gretchyn Bailey; Color Blindness). Compared to some of the other genetic diseases, colorblindness will not affect an individual’s life drastically, but it may change the jobs that are available, and the way that they go about their day-to-day lives.