Colour Blindness & Colour Vision Enhancement

abbeyeyecare hp2021 body section02 h2 decoration

Colour Blindness Changes the Way You See the World

When you don’t perceive colour as the average person does, life is more than just dull; it can also be a lot more difficult. We rely on colour for all sorts of things. From school to work, to everyday tasks like driving; colour is a large part of how we communicate. When you cannot see a full range of colours, the world’s colour based systems can be terribly isolating.

abbey eye care colour blindness colour vision enhancement in oakville 1st section image
abbeyeyecare hp2021 body section02 h2 decoration

What is Colour Blindness

Your eyes perceive colour with a series of light-sensitive cells in the retina called cones. Normal eyes have three types of cones; each one is programmed to detect certain wavelengths (or colours) of light.

Colour blindness (or more accurately, colour deficiency) occurs when:

  1. One type of cone doesn’t function correctly
  2. One type of cone doesn’t function at all
  3. There are no functioning cone cells whatsoever

In most cases, colour blind patients can see colour to some degree. The colours a person can detect and how well they can detect them depends on what type of colour blindness they have.

abbeyeyecare hp2021 body section02 h2 decoration

Types of Colour Blindness

In cases of anomalous trichromacy, all three types of cones work, however, one type of cone does not work correctly. As a result, patients with this condition can see some colours well, but have a reduced sensitivity to one type of light, causing them to have trouble distinguishing some colours from others.

For example, if someone has reduced sensitivity to green, they may have trouble distinguishing greens, reds, browns, and oranges.

The most common types of colour blindness are both variations of anomalous trichromacy: protanomaly (reduced sensitivity to red) and deuteranomaly (reduced sensitivity to green). Both of these conditions are commonly called red-green colour blindness.

Because people with dichromatic vision only have two functioning cone types, they cannot perceive colours of light that fall within a certain area of the light spectrum (the red area, green area, or blue area.) These areas of the spectrum overlap a little bit, making some colours difficult to distinguish from others.

For example, someone with protanopia (the inability to perceive red light) will mostly see earthy, muddy greens with prominent blues and yellows. They may not be able to see the difference between browns, reds, oranges, or greens.

Monochromatic vision occurs in the total absence of functioning cones. This means the person cannot perceive colour at all, seeing the world exclusively in shades of grey. Monochromacy (also known as achromatopsia) is exceptionally rare and is accompanied by sensitivity to light. Achromatopsia sufferers often need to wear dark glasses, even in normal indoor lighting.

abbeyeyecare hp2021 body section02 h2 decoration

Who is Affected?

Color vision deficiency (CVD) affects millions of people worldwide. Men are most commonly affected with 1 in 12 having some form of CVD while the prevalence in women is 1 in 200. Most people who suffer from CVD are not blind to colour, but have a reduced ability to see them.

abbey eye care colour vision deficiency
abbeyeyecare hp2021 body section02 h2 decoration

Take the Colour Vision Test

abbey eye care enchroma colour vision test
Take the Colour Vision Test!

While there currently is no cure for colour blindness, colour blind people don’t necessarily have to exist in a dull and murky world. Abbey Eye Care is proud to carry EnChroma; a brand of eyewear that helps some colour blind patients see a wider range of colour.