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What Causes Color Blindness

Color blindness is a genetic visual deficiency that limits or decreases the ability to see color. There are three main types of color blindness called; monochromacy (total color blindness), dichromacy (one color mechanism is missing or not working) and trichromacy (a less severe impairment in perceiving colors). The symptoms of color blindness can also be caused by damage to the eye or brain, but this is not classified as true color blindness. Let’s take a look at what causes this problem.

What Causes Color Blindness?
Color blindness is a genetic deficiency and the gene that causes the condition is located on the X chromosome. This means that men are more likely to have the disease because they have only one X chromosome. Women have two X chromosomes, meaning they must inherit it from both parents.

In most color blind people the photoreceptors, located on the retina, in the back of the eye is where the problem lies. Every person has 2 types of photoreceptors – rods and cones. The rods are used in low light conditions to allow us to see in the dark, but are not in color detection. The cones contain the pigments, which communicate with the brain so we can see colors. In color blind people the cones misinterpret the wavelengths of certain colors. For example, if green cones only respond to the wavelength that represents red, then green will appear red to the brain.

If you want to test if you are color blind the following website provides a good test for color blindness – Color Blindness Test

Did you know?
It is estimated that 8% of the male population is color blind and the most common deficiency is red–green color blindness.

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