Colorblind! A term that is thrown around casually these days. People mention it in passing like they are talking about there dinner plans. We use it for jokes but at the end of the day, color-blindness is a serious condition. What people don’t realize is that when they wish to refer to the fact there are some colors that they are unable to recognize, they are talking about color vision deficiency (CVD). Even though CVD is interchangeably called color-blindness, it isn’t apt to use the term color-blindness for it. Color-blindness, also known as Achromatopsia is the condition where the world turns monochromatic, meaning a person only sees things in black and white or shades of grey, and I doubt if there are fifty of them. Both these conditions have an impact on life, CVD lesser than the other but still.
Anyways did you know, that almost 10 million cases are reported in India alone every year, and that’s when this condition goes unnoticed for the majority! Globally 1 in every 12 men and 1 in every 200 women suffer from CVD. Yeah! its true women see more colors than men, and dear men you can blame it on your X chromosome. More on that ahead.!
To put matters in UHD (Ultra-high-definition), CVD is the condition wherein a person is no longer able to differentiate between certain colors and their hues. They may still see shades of it, but not completely. There are 2 types of CVD:
- Red-Green: this is the most common type of CVD. When suffering from it, people are not able to differentiate between shades of red and green. So, you can imagine what would happen at a traffic signal if one doesn’t learn the signs associated.
- Blue-Yellow: the less common type, where people have difficulty recognizing these two shades.
The science behind this is, that our eyes have a structure on the retina called ‘cones’ which is divided into 3 parts. Each of them belongs to a color red, blue and green. When the light passes through them they send the signal to the brain and we recognize the shade or color. So, when one of these goes bust, you start seeing lesser of that shade.
This condition can be lifelong and can’t be cured. However, most people make do without any major hinges in life. Now, this can happen because of an injury to the eye or any other underlying reason, in which case working on that cause can reap benefits. However, it is mostly genetic. When there is some mutation on the X chromosome, it leads to CVD. Since men have only 1 X chromosome in their genes, as opposed to women’s two, they suffer more from CVD than women. And in this case, nothing can be done to correct it. Some other conditions that can trigger CVD in a person include diabetes, glaucoma, certain types of cancer, multiple sclerosis etc. Additionally, this doesn’t lead to any other effects or blindness in the patient.
It’s ironic that most people go without getting their CVD diagnosed, especially when it is so easy to diagnose it. An eye examination commonly the Ishihara Plate Test (colored dots with numbers in between) is conducted to analyze. You can even find these online, but its best left to an optometrist. They say that colored lenses can improve color vision, but only the doctor can be the judge of that.
In the end, despite our love for the black, life in Technicolor is always better and always preferred. So, let’s not make light of our visions, let’s get brilliantly vibrant.