Colour Blindness – blindness or colour deficiency?
Colour blindness as most people believe it to be is actually not a type of blindness at all. It is rather a deficiency to detect colours like green, yellow or red. It is more prevalent in males than in females. This is seen that it is most prevalent in the state of Andhra Pradesh. About 7.2% of males in that state suffer from this. It is not a small number and especially considering the fact that it has been increasing in the recent past.
Imagine your life without colours. Imagine not being able to tell the difference between red and green. It is a mild disability but a persistent one for sure. But all is not that black and white in this world. It has been seen in various studies that colour blindness has proven to be advantageous for many people. It has been noticed that people with colour blindness are often better at looking at certain colour camouflages. Colour blind people are also better in detecting certain colours better than others. However, the advantages are outnumbered by the disadvantages. Therefore, it becomes important to make ourselves aware of this increasing problem.
Causes of Colour Blindness
Colour blindness occurs when there is a fault in the development of one of the retinal cones, which send information to the optic nerves. There are photo receptors present in our retina. They are present in rods and cones. The rods are a lot in number but they are not responsible for perceiving colours, the cones are the ones who are responsible for that. This deficiency is usually inherited. As the cones may not have developed. They could also be absent in the retina, which causes failure to see colours. There are other causes as well-
- Parkinson’s disease or PD- a neurological disorder; can cause the cells not to function properly, which makes it difficult for the eyes to perceive different colours.
- Diabetes- Diabetes can result in degenerating the cells in the retina. This is also possible because of deficiency of Vitamin A.
- Cataract- As mentioned in the earlier blog, an old age condition, which clouds people’s vision can also cause colour blindness.
Though Colour blindness is not curable entirely, it can be coped with. There was a gene therapy tried on the eyes of monkeys, which cured colour blindness in them. This was done by the University of Washington and Florida in 2009. However it is still too risky to be tried on humans. Therefore the only option available is to manage with this disability. It can be managed by wearing slightly tinted eyeglasses on the dominant eye but it can make detecting of other colours more difficult.
Diagnosing it at a early stage of life becomes imperative as one can be trained to adopt to daily life and be trained to adopt professions which can do without colours. Careers in Graphic design and art becomes specifically very difficult.
Colour blindness can not be cured but can be fought with by proper and early detection so that it does not stop you from living your life the way you want it to!
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