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  • Writer's picturePhoebe

Colour blindess - fact vs fiction.

"Good job, now just cut the red wire and the bomb is defused."

"Right! Yes, I can do that. Now umm... which one is the red one? They're all the same colour to me!" - An extreme, Hollywood example of when being colourblind may not be ideal, but you get the idea.

So, what exactly is colour blindness? Let's dig a little deeper and find out.

At the back of the eye, in your retina, you have photoreceptors called rods and cones. You have more rods (approximately 100 million of them) and they are more sensitive to light, but cannot perceive colour.

Cones do all the heavy lifting when it comes to colour perception, there are around 6 - 7 million of them in your retina, concentrated in your macula. There are three types of cones that see color: red, green and blue. Colour blindness can happen when one or more of the colour cone cells are missing, not working, or detect a different colour than normal.

There are different degrees of color blindness, ranging from mild to severe and is usually something that you have from birth, although you can develop it later in life.

Fiction: All people who are "colour blind" see in black and white. In fact, the term colour vision deficiency (CVD) is a more accurate description of the condition. The most common form (approx 99% of cases) of colour blindness is known as "red/green colour blindness".

This doesn’t mean people only confuse red and green, it means they can mix colours which have some red or green as part of the whole colour. So someone with red/green colour blindness will probably also confuse blue and purple because they can’t ‘see’ the red element of the colour purple. Although there are some extreme cases in which a person is incapable of detecting any colour at all, it is incredibly rare.

Fiction: Only men can be colour blind. Although this is a condition that effects more men than women, women are not immune and there are actually more female carriers of CVD than men (sorry gents)! The current stats sit at around 8% of men and <1% of women born will have some kind of colour vision deficiency.

Fact: Being colour blind may affect your career path. If you thought our opening explosive reference seemed a little far-fetched, you weren't wrong. That is mostly due to the fact that there are certain occupations that specifically request a colour vision test be performed before someone is allowed to be hired! Areas of the Defence Force, Police Service and Maritime Industry will not allow those with colour vision deficiencies to progress with certain role applications for obvious safety reasons. Otherwise, those with CVD can be gainfully employed in a variety of roles without any worries!

If you ever have any concerns about your vision - colour or otherwise, get in touch with us to book an appointment. You can click HERE to be directed to our online booking page, call us on 07 3447 0447 or come by the store to have a chat with the team.

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