April 20, 2018
You may know that our eyes contain rods and cones, which allow us to see the world in color. While rods contain just one colorless photopigment which helps us see in areas with limited light, our cones contain three photopigments which create the sensation of blue, green, and red.
However, some people suffer from “color blindness,” which causes them to experience color differently than the majority of the population. While most people have heard of color blindness, you may not know there are actually several types of color vision deficiency. Each kind of color blindness affects people in different ways.
Sufferers of protanomaly have a deficiency with their red photopigment, which causes any shades of red, yellow, and orange to appear duller and a little greenish.
Similarly, people with protanopia have no use of their red photopigment, so red simply appears black to them. They may also experience shades of yellow, orange, and green all as the color yellow.
This condition is like protanopia, except those affected have no sensation of green instead of red. The color green looks beige, and red looks brownish-yellow.
Can you guess which photopigment is deficient for tritanomaly sufferers? That’s right—blue! This condition causes people to see blue as more green, and causes yellow, red, and pink to all look alike with a pink color.
Those with tritanopia don’t have the blue photopigment at all, so the color blue looks green and yellow looks either purple or grey.
While the previous six types of color blindness are pretty mild and don’t affect daily life, people suffering from monochromacy have only one or no photopigments in their cones. This lack of color differentiation can create extreme problems with clearness in their vision, their ability to switch focus between objects that are close and far away, and even control of their eye movements.
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