Color blindness

Alternative Names

Color deficiency; Blindness – color

Definition of Color blindness

Color blindness is the inability to see certain colors in the usual way.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Color blindness occurs when there is a problem with the color-sensing materials (pigments) in certain nerve cells of the eye. These cells are called cones. They are found in the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include:

Signs and tests

Your doctor or eye specialist can check your color vision in several ways. Testing for color blindness is commonly done during an eye exam.

Treatment

There is no known treatment.

Expectations (prognosis)

Color blindness is a life-long condition. Most persons are able to adjust without difficulty or disability.

Review

Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 4/13/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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