Colour Blindness: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


What is colour blindness?

Colour blindness, known as a colour deficiency, is a condition in which an individual perceives colours differently from the norm. This variation can lead to challenges in distinguishing between specific colours, especially red and green shades or, less frequently, blue and yellow hues. In extreme cases, it results in the inability to perceive colours, leaving individuals with only shades of black and white—a rare condition known as achromatopsia.

It often has a hereditary basis and is present at birth. While a definitive cure remains elusive, specialized glasses and corrective lenses can significantly assist in managing the condition.


What is the symptoms of colour blindness?

The symptoms can exhibit a wide range of variability from one individual to another. In many cases, individuals may experience such mild symptoms that they are unaware of their colour deficiency.

The primary symptom is difficulty distinguishing between colours or frequently making errors when attempting to identify them.

People with colour blindness might struggle to differentiate:

  • Various shades of colours, particularly between shades of green and red or shades of green and blue.
  • Variations in the brightness of colours.

In rare instances, individuals with severe conditions may also encounter additional symptoms, including nystagmus (involuntary and rapid eye movements) or heightened sensitivity to light.

What are the causes and risk factors of colour blindness?

The predominant causes of color vision deficiency are  typically hereditary, with the condition passing from generation to generation and often present from birth, thereby being classified as congenital.

It stems from a complete or partial deficiency of cones within the retina, which detect red, green, and blue. In some instances, it may emerge later in life due to various factors, including:

  • Underlying conditions include eye diseases, metabolic disorders, or vascular ailments.
  • Injury or impairment affecting the eyes or the brain.
  • Development of age-related cataracts.
  • Use of specific medications.

Men are more susceptible to it than women, and individuals with the following characteristics face an elevated risk of developing the condition:

  • A family history of colour blindness
  • Pre-existing eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma.
  • Health conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Use of certain medications.
  • Belonging to the Caucasian ethnicity.

1. Diagnose

A red-green condition is typically diagnosed through a straightforward eye examination. Optometrists and eye specialists frequently include colour blindness assessments in routine vision screenings, especially for children.


The Ishihara colour test is the prevailing method for identifying dichromatic vision. During this test, individuals are presented with a series of plates or pages, each featuring a circular pattern constructed from dots of various colours. The optometrist will then inquire about the numbers visible within these circles. Those with red-green daltonism may encounter difficulties in discerning specific numbers.

2. Duration

Whether you are born with colour blindness or develop it over time, it is typically a lifelong condition. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for it, but there are strategies to help manage it. Addressing these issues may improve vision in cases where it results from an eye injury or an underlying medical condition.

Additionally, sometimes eyes become pink and light red so it look like pink eye and its also a major  eye problem called conjunctivitis. So if you notice any types of symptoms, don’t waste time and consult with the best eye specialist in Gurgaon, because the eye is a very sensitive organ in the body, so its important to make taking care of your eye a priority.


What is the treatment for colour blindness?

For inherited forms of color vision deficiency not linked to an underlying medical condition, there are presently no medical treatments available. Most individuals with it learn to adapt and navigate their daily lives with the condition.

Many people find it a minor inconvenience, and some may not even realize that they perceive colours differently from most people. Here are various methods to work around the challenges of poor vision:

  • Special Glasses or Contacts: Some individuals with red-green colour deficiency may benefit from specialized glasses or contact lenses designed to enhance their ability to differentiate between colours.
  • Smartphone and Tablet Apps: Numerous apps are available for individuals with colour vision deficiencies. These apps assist users in identifying the colours of objects, aiding in daily tasks.
  • Memorization: Memorizing the order of colours, such as the sequence of traffic lights, can be helpful for individuals with achromatopsia.
  • Labeling and Sorting: Seek assistance from someone with normal colour vision to label and sort clothing or items that require matching.
  • Informing Educators: If your child is affected, it’s essential to inform teachers so they can make accommodations as needed. Children with it may struggle with tasks like distinguishing yellow chalk on a green board or reading assignments on coloured paper.
  • Teaching Common Colours: Educate your child about the colours of everyday objects. This provides a reference point when discussing colours with others.

While there may not be a cure, these strategies and accommodations can significantly enhance the quality of life for someone affected by this condition.

1. Prevention

Genetic conditions cannot be prevented, as they are typically inherited. However, one can take steps to lower the risk of developing age-related colour vision deficiencies. Regular visits to a general practitioner, annual eye examinations, and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the likelihood of age-related issues.

2. Complications

Individuals with a severe type of colour blindness known as achromatopsia experience a complete inability to perceive colours, limited to seeing only black, white, and shades of grey. In addition to the absence of colour vision, they may encounter other vision-related complications, including heightened sensitivity to light and glare, uncontrollable movements of the eye (nystagmus), reduced visual acuity (difficulty in sharp vision), and farsightedness. Achromatopsia is a rare condition, affecting approximately 1 in 30,000 people worldwide.


Colour blindness is a complex condition with genetic and sometimes acquired origins. From its symptoms to diagnosis, causes, and potential treatments, understanding it is essential for those affected or looking to support loved ones with this condition. While there is no cure for this condition, various strategies, like special glasses and smartphone apps, can help individuals adapt and thrive in a world dominated by colour perception. Moreover, early detection through routine eye exams and lifestyle choices can aid in preventing age-related colour vision issues. Raising awareness and offering support is critical to ensuring that those with this condition can fully engage in a colourful and diverse world, emphasizing that this condition does not limit one’s ability to lead a fulfilling life. At Barman Eye Care Centre, which stands amongst the best eye hospitals in Gurgaon, we are genuinely committed to providing the best eye care and support to individuals with colour vision deficiencies.