Color Blindness

Genetic Disorder Project

What is Color Blindness?

Color Blindness is a single gene mutation that can be sex-linked or caused from accidents or environmental changes. Discovered in 1794 by John Dalton, color blindness is the inability or decreased ability to see color or perceive color differences under normal lighting conditions (National Eye Institute, 2016).
The picture above is a scale of the different percentages your color vision scale would be with different types of color blindness. As you can see, normal vision is 92% on the color spectrum, dropping to 2.7% with the first type of color blindness.

What are Symptoms of Color Blindness?

Symptoms of color blindness include difficulty determining the difference between red, green, blue, and yellow, the inability to see color, colors appear washed out or faded, others correct you when identifying colors, or a gradual loss of color vision. If there is a gradual loss of color vision, it could be developed from chronicle illnesses.

How Common is Color Blindness?

We all have 23 pairs of chromosomes. The 23rd chromosome determines your sex, XX for females, and XY for males, but that is also where the color blindness trait is found. The trait for color blindness appears on the X chromosome. Because males only have one X chromosome, the trait only needs to appear on that one chromosome. Females have to have the trait on both X chromosomes, making it harder for the color blindness trait to appear on each. Therefor, the color blindness trait is more common for males. 8% of the male population is affected.

Can You Prevent Color Blindness?

If you are born with color blindness, the genetic disorder is already a part of you and in your genes, so you can't prevent it. However, color blindness can be acquired by illness, accidents, aging, and being exposed to industrial or environmental changes. You can't prevent color blindness, but you can be careful with your eyes and get tested.

How Can I Find Out if I'm Color Blind?

There are many ways to determine if you are color blind. Most people are tested at the age of 4 using Ishihara plate tests. However, if you are noticing a change in your vision or want to get tested again, you can find many online tests that can help you.
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These are Ishihara plates that can help you determine whether or not you are color blind. The purpose is if you are able to see the number or letter in the circle. Can you see it?

How Many Types of Color Blindness is There?

There are several types of color blindness. There are three main groups, red-green color blindness, blue-yellow color blindness, and complete color blindness.


Red-Green Color Blindness

Red-Green Color blindness is the most common kind. There are different types of this, Protanomaly, Protanopia, Deuteranomaly, and Deuteranopia. They are cause by loss of red cone or green cone photopigments.


Blue-Yellow Color Blindness

Blue-green color blindness is less common than red-green. Blue cone photopigments are missing or not completely functioning. There are two types, Tritanopia and Tritanomaly.


Complete Color Blindness

Complete color blindness is very rare. You wouldn't be able to see any colors and your vision could be affected. The two types, Cone monochromacy and Rod monochromacy or achromatopsia, are very rare.



For more information involving the different types of color blindness, go to the Color Blind Association or consult your eye doctor.

How Can Color Blindness be Developed Over Time?

Color blindness can be developed from chronicle illnesses, accidents like strokes, medications, industrial or environmental changes, and aging. However, most people are born with the sex-linked trait.

How Can Color Blindness Affect My Life?

Color blindness has no impact on your life expectancy, but you need to be extra cautious in your every day life. You may not be able to tell if meat is cooked or raw. You may not be able to see the different colored traffic lights. These things can be harmful and have an actual impact, so you have to ask others for help. 60% of people who are color blind experience problems in their everyday life.


Color blindness isn't classified as a disorder, so don't make it one!

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This is a picture of what a stoplight would look like if your vision was affected by color blindness.

Organizations and Support Groups

There are many organizations and support groups for color blindness. Color Blind Awareness and NAACBP are some organizations you can go to for extra support and information. There are also many non-profit organizations that offer support and guidance.


If color blindness is affecting your job or you need permits for working with color blindness, visit www.hse.gov.uk.