Types of color blindness

There is a very small chance not to have heard of the condition called “color blindness” but of course there are a few specific types of color blindness.

Even though we all see colors a little different, most of us are not color blind.

In this article, we will give you more information about color blindness, the different types, how you can test yourself for color blindness and ways for treating it.

Color blindness or also called “color vision deficiency” most often results in seeing colors differently than other people.

Usually, color blind people find it hard to make a difference between some colors.

However, this condition is quite complex and we can not talk about it generalized since there are a few specific types of color blindness.

Color blindness explained

Trichromacy is the term for normal color vision.

It is called this way because there are three photoreceptors in the retina, which are sensitive to colors.

These cones are the S, M and L cones, depending on the visible wavelength they are sensitive to – S (small), M (medium), L (long).

Since it can be roughly said that the cones are related to the blue, green and red wavelengths, they are sometimes called by these color names.

Types of color blindness

The most common type of color blindness is red-green color blindness.

People who suffer from it can not tell the difference between red and green.

What is more though, is that the red-green type of color blindness has its own 3 types:

Protan color blindness (protanomaly):

This is an anomaly of the L – cones, which are responsible for the color red.

They are still present in the retina but are too sensitive to green, yellow, orange, red, brown.

For this reason, the latter colors may appear identical, especially when the light is quite low.

Some people with protanomaly may also have trouble seeing purple and pink.

Here is which colors people with protan color blindness mistake:

  • black with many shades of red;
  • dark brown with dark green, dark orange and dark red;
  • blue with red, purple and dark pink;
  • mid – green with orange.

Tritan color blindness:

This is an anomaly of the Scones, which are responsible for the color blue.

Tritan color blindness causes confusion between blue and green and red and purple.

Again, there are two types – tritanomaly, when the sensitivity to blue light is just reduced, and tritanopia, when there is no blue sensitivity at all.

Another type of color blindness, called “monochromacy” or complete color blindness.

People suffering from it can see no color at all, only shades of grey – just as if life was an old black and white movie.

This condition is very uncommon but some people may also be sensitive to light or have an unclear vision.

These may use as symptoms something is wrong and you need to seek professional help.

Often people with color blindness do not know they have it, simply because they are used to the way they see the world and do not know there are such things as different colors. 


Who is at risk of being color blind?

According to statistics more men than women suffer from color blindness (around 8% of men worldwide against 0,5% of women).

More often color blindness is genetically inherited.

This means that people who have a family history of color blindness are most prone to being color blind.

However, you can develop color blindness if you have certain eye conditions like glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration.

In order to lower the risk of getting any eye issues, make sure you have a good eye care routine and use a blue light-blocking software like Iris.

he latter is especially important for people who spent the biggest part of their day in front of a computer or any other device.

Iris will ensure you a good night’s sleep, no more headaches and won’t make you feel tired from staring at your screen for a long time.

General health problems like diabetes, Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis, as well as some medication, may also be the cause for color blindness.

Among our other articles on eye health, blue light, and many more interesting topics, you can find one with a test for color blindness – Color Blindness Test.

If you have any doubts about you or someone from your family being color blind, you can simply follow the tips given in the article.


Color blindness can not be treated when it is caused by genetics.

People simply get used to it.

Kids may need some help at school and adults may not be able to do certain jobs like a graphic designer for example.

No serious problems are caused.

If your color blindness is caused by a disease, then you should consult with your doctor, who can tell you what is the best solution for you.

However, if being color blind causes discomfort with completing everyday tasks, you can wear special glasses or contacts or use visual aids like technology and apps.

But always consult with a professional first!


Color blindness is a condition that makes people unable to see different colors.

There are a few types of color blindness – protan color blindness, deutan blindness, Tritan color blindness and monochromacy (a complete lack of color sensitivity), which is the rarest kind.

Usually, color blind people have color blindness running in their family history.

It is caused by a recessive gene on the X – chromosome. Yet, people can get color blind if they have certain health issues like age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s or diabetes.

If you have any doubts about being color blind, you can test yourself with a vision test.





Author: Ilina Stoyanova

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