Color Vision Deficiency Testing
The human eye sees by light stimulating the retina (a neuro-membrane lining the inside back of the eye). The retina is made up of what are called Rods and Cones. The rods, located in the peripheral retina, give us our night vision, but cannot distinguish color. Cones, located in the center of the retina (called the macula), are not much good at night but do let us perceive color during daylight conditions.
The cones, each contain a light sensitive pigment which is sensitive over a range of wavelengths (each visible color is a different wavelength from approximately 400 to 700 nm). Genes contain the coding instructions for these pigments, and if the coding instructions are wrong, then the wrong pigments will be produced, and the cones will be sensitive to different wavelengths of light (resulting in a color deficiency). The colors that we see are completely dependent on the sensitivity ranges of those pigments.
Many people think anyone labeled as "colorblind" only sees black and white - like watching a black and white movie or television. This is a big misconception and not true. It is extremely rare to be totally color blind (monochromasy - complete absence of any color sensation). There are many different types and degrees of colorblindness - more correctly called color vision deficiencies.
People with normal cones and light sensitive pigment (trichromasy) are able to see all the different colors and subtle mixtures of them by using cones sensitive to one of three wavelength of light - red, green, and blue. A mild color deficiency is present when one or more of the three cones light sensitive pigments are not quite right and their peak sensitivity is shifted (anomalous trichromasy - includes protanomaly and deuteranomaly). A more severe color deficiency is present when one or more of the cones light sensitive pigments is really wrong (dichromasy - includes protanopia and deuteranopia).
Based on clinical appearance, color blindness may be described as total or partial. Total color blindness is much less common than partial color blindness. There are two major types of color blindness: those who have difficulty distinguishing between red and green, and those who have difficulty distinguishing between blue and yellow.
- Total color blindness
- Partial color blindness
Dichromacy (protanopia and deuteranopia)
Anomalous trichromacy (protanomaly and deuteranomaly)
Dichromacy (tritanopia)Anomalous trichromacy (tritanomaly)
Anonmalous trichromacy (tritanomaly)
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