How do things look to colorblind people ?
December 12, 2006 6:16am CST
Color blindness is typically a genetic condition, and it is much more common in men than in women. Approximately one in 12 men has at least some color perception problems. Less common, acquired deficiencies stem from injury, disease, or the aging process. Also, although not called "color blindness," when people age, their corneas typically turn yellowish, severely hampering their ability to see violet and blue colors. How do things look? Many people think anyone labeled as "colorblind" only sees black and white -- like watching a black and white movie or television. This is a big misconception and not true. It is extremely rare to be totally color blind (monochromasy - complete absence of any color sensation). There are many different types and degrees of colorblindness - more correctly called color deficiencies. People with normal cones and light sensitive pigment (trichromasy) are able to see all the different colors and subtle mixtures of them by using cones sensitive to one of three wavelength of light - red, green, and blue. A mild color deficiency is present when one or more of the three cones light sensitive pigments are not quite right and their peak sensitivity is shifted (anomalous trichromasy - includes protanomaly and deuteranomaly).