What is Color Blindness?

vlado fdpColor blindness is not very common, and at Park Ophthalmology we usually do not see too many patients here in the Triangle with this unique eye situation, but information about it is very interesting. In the discussion of eye care, there are many misperceptions about color blindness.

Color Blindness Defined
Despite the name we give it, the condition known as color blindness does not usually refer to people not seeing any colors. It is rare for someone not to see any color at all. Instead, those patients with color blindness have trouble seeing either red, green, or blue or a mix of those colors. For example, some people can see the difference between red and green but cannot see blue or yellow.

Causes of Color Blindness

Color blindness is genetic, usually inherited, and is typically present at birth. The eye has three types of cone cells, each of which senses a different color light: red, green or blue. The eye cone interprets the different amounts of these colors to indicate color. People with color blindness do not have some of the cone cells, or they are not working properly.

More men suffer from color blindness than women, because the gene affecting color blindness is on the X chromosome. About eight percent of men have color blindness.

Although less common, color blindness can sometimes occur later in life due to: 

  • Aging
  • Eye problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration or diabetes
  • Injury
  • Medications

Diagnosing Color Blindness

Tests are available to measure how well someone recognizes different colors. Many North Carolina residents have seen the dot tests, in which a pattern is shown in colored dots. The different colored dot tests help Ophthalmologists determine which colors present difficulty. Other tests use different colored chips to determine whether someone can identify between similar colors.

Color blindness can dramatically impact a person’s life. Color vision problems affect learning and later may limit career choices. Beth R. Friedland MD recommends that children receive eye exams sometime between the ages of three and five. It is important children receive regular eye exams. A variety of eye issues can impact school performance, so it is important to check for color blindness and other eye conditions.

Treatment

There is no cure for color blindness. Those who acquire the condition later in life due to a problem such as a cataract may be able to achieve normal vision after the cataract or other related problem is corrected. Some people find help with special contact lenses to differentiate colors but in some cases those lenses can distort objects. People who are born color blind learn ways to live with not seeing some colors and work around it, as demonstrated in this video for children on what it’s like to be color blind

If age or some other problem is affecting your ability to see color, visit the doctors at Park Ophthalmology right away.

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

 

This article about color blindness is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

 

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

 

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

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Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: vlado, freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

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6 Questions & Answers Cataract Patients Ask Beth R. Friedland M.D.

arztsamui fdpMany Triangle residents from Raleigh, Durham, and adjoining towns come to Park Ophthalmology to seek guidance about changes in their vision, especially new and recent problems, such as double or foggy vision. It is important to note that these kinds of problems can often be symptoms of a cataract.

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States and are very common in older adults. But it’s not just a problem for older people. Sometimes children get cataracts, and many people get age-related cataracts in their 40’s and 50’s. Because this condition affects vision, it can be very disconcerting.

Here are six questions Doctor Beth Friedland’s patients often ask in reference to cataracts:

What exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a cloudy area in the eye’s lens. While not painful, it blocks light from reaching the retina, which can cause vision problems.

What are some common symptoms of cataracts? Sometimes, cataracts do not cause any problems. In other cases, people will notice:

  • Cloudy, fuzzy, or foggy vision.
  • Glare from the sun, lamps or car headlights at night.                                  
  • Frequent changes to their eyeglasses prescription.
  • Double vision in one eye.
  • An improvement in near vision for a time.

What causes cataracts? Eye changes are a normal part of aging; combined with exposure to sunlight, the human eye can develop a cataract over time. But they can also be caused by injury, other eye diseases, certain medications, and other health problems, such as diabetes.

How do you diagnose cataracts? We conduct a complete and thorough eye exam with other tests to determine if there indeed is a cataract causing the vision problem.

How can eye doctors treat cataracts? Many patients with cataracts can see very well with prescription lenses or contacts. For most adults, surgery is only an option when the cataract begins to cause severe vision loss or it affects quality of life.

Is there a way to prevent cataracts? There is no way to prevent cataracts, but staying healthy can often make a difference. Smoking, sun tanning, eating poorly, and diabetes can increase chances for cataracts.

People 60 and older should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. That’s also a great time for Dr. Beth Friedland to check for other eye problems, such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Remember that early diagnosis and treatment for any eye problem leads to the best results.

Regular exams are essential to great vision and eye health. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about cataract education is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: arztsamui, freedigitalphotos.net