Color blindness or color deficiency is a condition which most people are already aware of. Judging from the name itself, it is a condition which does not allow people to see all the colors in their surroundings. However, what most probably do not know is that there are different types of color blindness. The most common and well-known type of color blindness or deficiency is the red-green color blindness. To know whether you have it, you can take a red-green color blindness test online or better yet, see an eye specialist who can assist you with it.
What is red-green color blindness and why is it the most common? Basically, people who have this condition perceive red and green as identical colors. It also goes by other names such as deutan color blindness, deuteranopia, and Daltonism which was derived from the name of the famous chemist and physicist, John Dalton.
This type of blindness was related to John Dalton because he has color vision deficiency which he published in his first scientific paper in 1798. The paper was entitled “Extraordinary Facts Relating to the Vision of Colours, with Observation” and it was considered to be the first recognized account of red-green color blindness.
According to Dalton, the colors red, orange, yellow, and green all appear to be the same to him. He could not see long wavelength of red light which today is also known as protanopia. But more recent findings and genetic analysis also show that Dalton also suffered from deuteranopia which is another form of red-green color blindness.
Important Facts About Red-Green Color Blindness
For people to have a better understanding of this type of color blindness, here are some facts which can help shed light on some of the confusion and misunderstandings of the condition.
- Red-green color blindness is only a generic term. What people with this condition really have are protanopia which is red-blindness, protanomaly which is red-weakness, deuteranopia which is green-blindness, and deuteranomaly which is green-weakness.
- Red-green color blindness is the most common type of color deficiency. In fact, of all the people who are color blind, 99% of them suffer from red-green color blindness.
- Among the men’s population all over the globe, 8% have it while 0.5% of women are suffering from it.
- Red-green color blindness can be categorized based on the severity of the condition. It can be slightly, moderately, strongly, or absolutely severe.
- As stated in number 3, more men suffer from it than women. That is because this condition is recessive and sex linked trait which is encoded on the X chromosome.
- Most of the time, it is inherited from a grandfather to his grandson. The mother only acts as the carrier but she does not necessarily have to be color blind.
- With this condition, red and green are not the only colors which cannot be distinguished. The whole color spectrum is affected by color blindness. Some colors with a touch of red and green can also be difficult to be distinguished by color blind people.
The surprising part is that some people may not even know that they are suffering from red-green color blindness or any other form of color blindness. They live and go on with their everyday activities not knowing that they see different shades of red and green. Probably the only time that they can discover it is when people around them point it out or tell them that their perception of colors is not the same with the rest.
Color Blindness and Professional Opportunities
Another instance which can lead to the discovery of color blindness is when a person wants to pursue certain careers in life. There are professions which would require color vision tests. Usually, industries and careers concerning public safety would require someone who does not have any problems with their vision. Some of these professions are those in law enforcement, military, railroads, fire fighting, electrical wirings, aviation, and any other forms of transportation.
In these professions, color vision tests are required to determine if a person can be accepted or not. Once a person is identified to have any form of color blindness, it would mean automatic disqualification. In fact, there are even countries which do not allow color blind people to have a drivers license because of the risk that they will not be able to see the traffic lights correctly. It is not a form of discrimination, but rather, a precautionary measure for everyone’s benefit.
To prevent frustrations and disappointments, parents should start looking out for any signs or symptoms while their children are still at an early age. There are certain cues to look out for, such as those which can be observed during basic activities. Some of these signs can include:
- Colors objects differently in a workbook. For example, if your child constantly uses the color blue to color leaves, that can be a red flag already.
- Has problems identifying things that you refer to with colors such as when you ask your child to give you the red pillow.
- Smells food before eating it and also has an excellent sense of smell.
- Complains that their eyes or head aches when looking at a red object on a green background or vice versa.
If you notice any of the above as well as other signs that your child may be color blind, do not panic, but do not waste time as well. You can try some activities with your child such as those which will allow your child to identify the colors of images on a piece of white paper. Assure him that there are no right or wrong answers so that he will not be felt pressured by anything.
You can also take your child to an eye specialist for a more thorough assessment through a more accurate red green color blindness test. No matter what happens, though, make sure that you guide your child along the way and make sure that he will not feel any insecurities and start to feel that he is lacking in self-worth. After all, color blindness is not something to be ashamed of.