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Color Vision Deficiency

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Color Vision Deficiency

What is Color Vision Deficiency?

While many of us have a shared perception of colors, some people have a color vision deficiency that alters the way they see color. In rare cases, people have color blindness, where they aren’t aware of the vast range of colors.

Color Vision Deficiency is caused by abnormal photopigments, where the cone-shaped cells in the retina are defective and fail to respond to light. Other causes of color vision deficiency can result from internal damage to the eye or from the build up of cataracts as one ages.

Variations of Color Vision Deficiency

Color vision deficiency can be separated into three categories:

  • Red-green color vision deficiency
  • Blue-yellow color vision deficiency
  • Total color blindness

Red-green color blindness is the most common, followed by blue-yellow color blindness, and, lastly, which is only in extreme cases, total color blindness. While these categories are often used, each person may face a range of color blindness or color vision deficiency.

Is color vision deficiency treatable?

Example of a specialty contact lens that treats color blindness

Example of a specialty contact lens that treats color blindness

Treatments are available that provide an improved visual experience helping the eye differentiate between more colors, shades, and hues. Specialty contact lenses like ChromaGen help provide minor color vision correction, while custom contacts like X-Chrome contacts offer an even greater range.

Treatment can lead any of the following:

  • Greater perception of colors
  • View new hues & shades
  • Colors will show up brighter, clearer, and more distinct
  • Ability to identify and name colors

Color vision correction can be achieved using special corrective contact lenses which are prescribed for each particular patient so that it can help compensate for the missing filters in the eye. These special lenses will allow you to see more colors and shades of colors. It will also make the colors more vivid and distinct so that you’ll be able to easily recognize new colors.

Do people struggle with Color Vision Deficiency?

Most people who have color vision deficiency don’t associate it as a problematic condition, except for unique situations like training to be a pilot. If the color vision deficiency is severe enough, it can lead to safety hazards, such as knowing when to stop or go at a traffic light.

The condition, more often, leads to communication blocks, especially when one with color vision deficiency wants to express the colors in an art piece or fashion. Even giving directions based on a map or landmark can be difficult if they rely on colors.

Color vision deficiency is a condition that can be tolerated, but often, after one receives treatment, they realize how correct color identification is not only important but greatly enhances their appreciation of their surroundings.

Learn more about Color Vision Deficiency

There are online tests that can help you discover if you have a color vision deficiency. We also recommend that you set up a consultation at our office. Dr. Moshe Schwartz, O.D., F.A.A.O. has helped treat patients with color vision deficiency and can help provide a custom solution that is right for you.

Our Owing Mills office is just a short distance from Baltimore, Maryland. Why wait to discover the richness of color? Schedule your next specialty contact lens consultation at EyeSymmetry Vision Center.