Color Blindness: What Do People Actually See And How Do You Know If You Are Color Blind?

Vitamin HealthEye Health

Image of blurred, sparkly colors.

What we see is not necessarily what others see. There are significant differences in visual acuity and perception. One area where we may differ from others is the way that we perceive color.

Color blindness affects approximately 4.5% of the population throughout the world. It is defined as a color vision deficiency, and it affects more men than women. In the United States alone, approximately 10.5 million men are color blind. Most people with a color vision deficiency experience impairments with red and green shades. The condition tends to be inherited, which means that the vast majority of people who are color blind have been so since birth.

What Do People Actually See?

What a color blind person sees depends on which cone cells of the retina are affected; which particular color pigment is missing from the cones will affect how the individual sees colors.

With red-green blindness, these two very different colors are seen as essentially the same (or very similar). If you don’t have a color vision deficiency, take a look around for a moment. Do you notice all the different shades of red and green?

Now imagine that they are the same color, a yellowish tan. It would get very confusing if someone was trying to point out the red flowers in a field of green grass, for example, or the different colors on a traffic light. This is the challenge that someone with an absence of green retinal photoreceptors would experience.

If the red photoreceptors are missing, then the color red would be perceived as a dark yellowish tan, and green and orange would look about the same, with both being a muddy yellow.

In general, then, people missing either red or green retinal photoreceptors perceive the world through a limited color palette of yellows and blues.

If the blue photoreceptors are missing (which is rarer), the color palette changes completely. People who are missing these photoreceptors see blues, pinks, and plums, primarily.

While very rare, some individuals have monochromatism, where they see the world in only black and white shades.

How Do You Know If You Are Color Blind?

There are different ways that people discover that they are color blind, including the following:

  • Having trouble distinguishing between colors
  • Not understanding why people call something red and something else green when they look essentially the same
  • Being unable to distinguish between the colors of a traffic light
  • Not being able to differentiate between shades of the same color
  • Being tested in school or by an eye doctor who has determined they are color blind
  • Taking online color tests that point to color blindness

How Viteyes Can Help

While there is no known cure for color blindness, you can ask your eye doctor about eyeglass filters that may help.

We at Viteyes can’t emphasize enough how important it is to maintain great vision, regardless of how you perceive color! Your overall eye health can be improved through our products, including our complete multivitamin that supports your eyes, and our optic nerve support supplements that promote your visual function.

Contact us today to learn how our great products can help your eyes!