Call your provider or eye specialist if you think you (or your child) may have color blindness.
Color blindness is the inability to see some colors in the usual way.
Color deficiency; Blindness - color
Color blindness occurs when there is a problem with the pigments in certain nerve cells of the eye that sense color. These cells are called cones. They are found in the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye, called the retina.
If just one pigment is missing, you may have trouble telling the difference between red and green. This is the most common type of color blindness. If a different pigment is missing, you may have trouble seeing blue-yellow colors. People with blue-yellow color blindness often have problems seeing reds and greens, too.
The most severe form of color blindness is achromatopsia. This is a rare condition in which a person cannot see any color, only shades of gray.
Most color blindness is due to a genetic problem. About 1 in 10 men have some form of color blindness. Very few women are color blind.
The drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) can also cause color blindness. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions.
Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include:
Often, symptoms are so mild that people may not know they are color blind. A parent may notice signs of color blindness when a young child is first learning colors.
Rapid, side-to-side eye movements (nystagmus) and other symptoms may occur in severe cases.
There is no known treatment. Special contact lenses and glasses may help people with color blindness tell the difference between similar colors.
Susanne Kohl is in Tuebingen, Germany. Kohl is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Color Blindness. She is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Color Blindness, Cone Dystrophy, Blue Cone Monochromatism, and Cone-Rod Dystrophy.
Michel Michaelides is in London, United Kingdom. Michaelides is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Color Blindness. He is also highly rated in 32 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Color Blindness, Late-Onset Retinal Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and Retinopathy Pigmentary Mental Retardation.
Stylianos Michalakis is in Munich, Germany. Michalakis is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Color Blindness. He is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Color Blindness, Late-Onset Retinal Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and Retinopathy Pigmentary Mental Retardation.
Color blindness is a lifelong condition. Most people are able to adjust to it.
People who are colorblind may not be able to get a job that requires the ability to see colors accurately. For example, electricians, painters, and fashion designers need to be able to see colors accurately.
Published Date: June 07, 2021
Published By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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Wiggs JL. Molecular genetics of selected ocular disorders. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 1.2.