Thomas B. Wood, OD

 Mary J. Mantini, OD

Clear Vision Begins with Healthy Eyes.

Color Vision Deficiency

Color vision deficiency is the inability to distinguish certain shades of color or in more severe cases, see colors at all. The term "color blindness" is also used to describe this visual condition, but very few people are completely color blind. People who are totally color blind, a condition called achromatopsia, can only see things as black and white or in shades of gray.

 

The severity of color vision deficiency can range from mild to severe depending on the cause. It will affect both eyes if it is inherited and usually just one if the cause for the deficiency is injury or illness.

 

The most common form of color deficiency is red-green. This does not mean that people with this deficiency cannot see these colors at all; they simply have a harder time differentiating between them. The difficulty they have in correctly identifying them depends on how dark or light the colors are.

 

Another form of color deficiency is blue-yellow. This is a rarer and more severe form of color vision loss than red-green since persons with blue-yellow deficiency frequently have red-green blindness too. In both cases, it is common for people with color vision deficiency to see neutral or gray areas where a particular color should appear.

 

About 1 in 8 men is color deficient as opposed to 1 in 200 women.