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What Is Color Blindness?

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Color blindness is a condition in which someone has difficulty distinguishing red, green, blue, or a mix of these three colors. It’s very rare for someone with color blindness to see no color at all. Even though people with color blindness can still see, the condition makes it harder for them to learn how to read or pursue certain careers.

Most people with color vision problems inherit them genetically, so they are present at birth. Usually, there are three types of cone cells in the eye. Each type of cone cell senses either red, green, or blue light. When the cone cells sense different levels of these three basic colors, it allows the person to distinguish between colors in their day-to-day environments. Someone who inherits color blindness is missing one of these three types of cone cells, so he or she has difficulty seeing one of these three basic colors. Even though most people inherit color blindness, aging, eye injury, and conditions like glaucoma and cataracts can all lead to the development of color blindness.

Dr. Mark Hornfeld is a New York City-based ophthalmologist offering a range of eye care services. You can reach our office by dialing (646) 502-4142.