What is color blindness caused by?


       According to statistics worldwide, the rate of color blindness in men is higher than in women. 1 in 12 men is colorblind, while about 1 in 200 women is colorblind.

Color blindness, also known as chromosomal disorder, causes people to be unable to distinguish between different colors. Especially between the colors green and red, blue and yellow. For mild cases of color blindness, it will not affect life much, but more severe conditions are very dangerous such as not being able to distinguish the color of traffic lights.

* What is color blindness?

Color blindness is a condition in which the eyes cannot distinguish the colors of objects such as red, green, or blue, or when these colors are mixed together. Depending on the severity of the disease, color perception may be reduced or no longer visible.

When we look at an object, its image is focused on the retina. There are two types of cells in the retina: cones with the function of distinguishing colors and rods that respond only to light to help us see at night.

Therefore, the mechanism of color blindness is when the cone cells do not work or detect a different color than normal. Mild color blindness occurs when only 1 cone cell is inactive or it detects a different color than normal.

* Causes of color blindness.

Color blindness is an inherited disease caused by a mutation that affects a pair of sex chromosomes (XX in females and XY in males). Color blindness is caused by a mutation or lack of a gene on the X chromosome that causes color discrimination. This gene is recessive.

Boys who receive this gene have difficulty distinguishing colors because the Y chromosome does not have a dominant color gene to dominate the color blindness gene. Any girl with this disease is due to having both colorblind genes from both parents. If there is only one gene, that’s okay because the other X chromosome can resist the color blind gene. That’s why men are more color blind than women.

* Some other causes are not caused by genetics such as:

– Having diseases related to the optic nerve, retina, refractive error of the eye, …
– Exposure to chemicals such as organic solvents.
– Eye damage for trauma.
– Cataracts.
– Due to age.

* What are the cases of color blindness?

* Green and red color blindness.

Inability to distinguish between red and green is when the red and green cones are not working properly. You can see red as dark gray and green as light yellow.

* Blue and yellow color blindness.

This type of color blindness affects both men and women equally, occurring very rarely, only 1 in 10,000. This is because the blue and yellow cones are not working correctly. You can see blue into green, yellow, red into pink, or yellow into grey, purple.

* Completely color blind.

Total cone color blindness: Occurs when 2 out of 3 red, green, or blue cones are inactive. When only one type of cone is active, it can be difficult to distinguish one color from another.

Complete rod color blindness: This is the most severe form of color blindness. There are no pigmented cones that sense light. As a result, the world is only black – white – gray.

* Is color blindness dangerous?

By nature, color blindness does not cause other health problems. Most people with color blindness lead normal and happy lives. It does not affect fertility or threaten life. However, it will be a dangerous disease if it can no longer distinguish the color of traffic lights.

* Can color blindness be cured?

There is currently no cure for color blindness, especially if it’s genetic. However, there are still some ways to increase color perception for patients such as:

Use tinted glasses based on the Bragg filter, although these lenses are effective, they are expensive and incompatible with other types of visual disturbances.

In addition, research has been performed on a rhodamine derivative inserted into contact lenses to filter out the wavelength ranges (≈545-575 nm) to correct color blindness. Evaluation of the biocompatibility of contact lenses with humans is non-toxic. This demonstration shows the potential of this type of contact lens in the future.

In short, color blindness is largely genetic. In addition, there are some cases due to other diseases that are preventable and treatable. Mild color blindness is usually not life-threatening. However, it limits your ability in jobs that require the ability to perceive colors, move as drivers, painters, pilots, …

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