Are Colors so Different for the Color Blind?

A majority of people have heard of color blindness, but there are few that actually know what it’s like to have this deficiency, or what it actually is.

My own experience being color-blind gives me insight into what some people experience every day in a world with different hues. Dispelling some of the myths associated with color blindness may take some of the mystery out of this little-known condition.

Color blindness is fairly common, but is different for every person who has it. It’s not as simple as not being able to see colors.  Although there are those who can’t see any colors at all, it’s a rarity.  Color blindness is the decreased ability to see or differentiate colors.  This means that when a person is color-blind some colors will look different to them.

Most color-blind people have either red-green color blindness or blue-yellow color blindness.  Some individuals have more extreme deficiencies where all colors look different to them, or they don’t see any colors.

Despite its name, color blindness isn’t actually a blindness at all, it’s a deficiency.  In most cases, a person sees colors, they just have trouble distinguishing them.  Color blindness, or color vision deficiency (CVD), is an inherited trait that affects more males rather than females. Red-green CVD is the most common form.

There are tests that will tell whether someone has CVD.  Most of these are called Ishihara Tests.  The tests use colored spots in a certain order so that they form either shapes or numbers (or nothing at all). People with a certain type of CVD will usually not be able to see the number or shape.  People with normal color vision will usually  be able to see the hidden object.

People with CVD may have trouble in school, especially in elementary school where much of the curriculum uses colors to teach.  Students have to adjust for their color blindness throughout their school years.color-blind-chart

Collin Houston, freshman at Princeton, has CVD.  He discovered that he had the deficiency when he took a color-blind test three years ago.

“The class I have the most trouble with is art,” said Houston.

Dealing with the constant questions that surround the mystery of CVD is another thing that people who are color-blind face.

“I have gotten many—probably too many—annoying questions about [how I see] colors,” said Houston.

Color blindness can cause problems with extra curricular activities, too.  PHS senior, Adam Shelton, experiences troubles with some aspects of sports.

“It can be hard to see the difference between jersey colors [in sports],” said Shelton.

Getting ready in the morning can present another challenge.

“Another struggle is trying to match clothes to wear,” said Shelton.

There is no real cure for CVD, but there are things that could help.  Recently, colored glasses were made to help people with dyslexia read.  These glasses have also helped people with CVD see colors more clearly.

I live with color blindness every day and even though I see a different shade of red, I will always recognize Princeton scarlet and gray.


If you can’t see the number 7 in the picture, then you might have red-green color-blindness.


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