October 30, 2009

Signs & Symptoms of Color Blindness (Dyschromatopsia)

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

The failure to be able to differentiate between similar shades of a single color is known as color blindness. The ability to recognize only certain colors is referred to as dyschromatopsia. An inability to perceive color completely is known as achromatopsia. Color blindness usually occurs due to a congenital defect and is present at the time of birth. In more rare cases, the color blindness develops as one ages as the lens of the eye also undergoes ageing. It may also result from certain illnesses or due to intake of some medications. It is mostly a genetic trait that causes color blindness and this takes place more commonly in men that in women. The ability to perceive color may also be affected by disorders or damage to the retina or optic nerve of the eyes.

When a person is affected by achromatopsia, he is unable to differentiate between various colors. In some cases, only grey shades are seen. These individuals may also suffer from disruptions in sensitivity to light, rapid eye movement and distance vision. Dyschromatopsia tends to occur more frequently. Individuals suffering from this condition usually have no other problems with vision. They are generally unable to distinguish between the shades of green and red. In few cases, the ability to distinguish between shades of yellow and blue is hampered. The condition of color blindness is usually detected through self diagnosis. Achromatopsia may be detected only after the child has reached three to four years of age. The doctor generally does a color test to confirm the presence of color blindness. In some cases, an electric eye test known as an electroretinograph may also be performed.

Color blindness cannot be prevented as such. The maximum that one can do is to undergo regular eye check-ups and treat eye problems promptly as this may help in preventing further deterioration of eye conditions. The condition of color blindness persists throughout the lifetime of a person and as such early detection is important so that the person can learn techniques to deal with the condition in terms of occupational therapy and other methods. There is no known available treatment for color blindness in terms of surgery, medication or nutritional supplements. Proper care and precautions are the only way to cope with this condition. It is not advisable for individuals suffering from color blindness to drive or operate heavy machinery. Some individuals suffering from achromatopsia are known to benefit from wearing dark glasses.