Can I bee Slightly Colorblind?

If you are colorblind it is not just about being colorblind or not. There are many different types and characteristics of color vision deficiency which you can suffer from. Color blindness is an umbrella term for all those different forms—and not even a good one.

I’m 13 years old and have been told I am red-green colour blind but only slightly. I have done research and taken MANY colour blind tests. But I’m still confused because how can I be slightly colour blind? Either I am or I am not. I have failed most of the tests I have taken and my optician has told me I am slightly colour blind towards red-green (the most common) but want to know how I am only slightly colour blind and what the scientific word for being slightly red-green colour blind.

First of all, you shouldn’t rely on the color blindness tests available online. These tests are just used to give you a feeling what kind of color blindness you are suffering from and how severe it is. But because every computer display can have different color adjustments they are not 100% reliable.

This young reader says, that either you are colorblind or you are not. This is true and false. If you go to your eye specialist and take a color blindness test, he will tell you if you have normal color vision or not. So yes, either you are colorblind or not.

But he can also tell you, what type of color blindness you are suffering from and the approximate severity of it. There is a whole terminology of color vision deficiency which I don’t wont to list here on the whole. Just the most important facts.

  • Types of color blindness:
    • Red-green colorblind: This is the most common form and according to its name, causes the biggest problems with red and green. There are two different subtypes: Red-blind (or -weak) and green-blind (or -weak).
    • Blue-yellow colorblind: This type of color vision deficiency is not so often seen and actually the colors blue and green (not yellow) are the problem area.
    • Completely colorblind: A very uncommon type which makes you see only in shades of gray. Unfortunately a lot of people think that every colorblind person can only see in shades of gray.
  • Severity of color blindness:
    • Anomalous trichromat: You have still three different types of color receptors as someone with normal color vision. But one of them is slightly shifted in its peak of sensitivity and therefore you can’t see the same broad color spectrum as others.
    • Dichromat: Here only two of three color receptors (cones) are working. You have to mix your perceived color just with two signals compared to three with normal color vision. The color spectrum is strongly reduced.
    • Monochromat: Either no color receptors are working (rod-monochromacy) or just one of them (blue-cone monochromcy). Anyway you will have either just grayscale vision or a very very restricted color vision.

This means, that is possible to suffer from any possible severity of color blindness. This because the three different color receptors have a highest peak of sensitivity. With an anomalous trichromacy, one of those peaks is shifted towards another one; usually the red peak towards the green or vice versa.

Because of that shift and the resulting peaks which are closer to each other, less information is available to mix up the final color in your brain. And this makes you either slightly colorblind (peaks still far apart) or more severely colorblind (peaks coming closer).

The academic term for a slight red-green color blindness is either protanomly (red-weakness) or deuteranomaly (green-weakness). Both types are a subtype of red-green color blindness and a form of anomalous trichromacy.

11 responses on “Can I bee Slightly Colorblind?

  1. Amanda parra

    im not sure what kind of color blind i am..i have trouble telling the difrence between blue and green..i always say that orange is green but i can see orange but not really just want to know what my deficiency is called?!?!!!?
    amanda parra

  2. Daniel Flueck Post author

    Amanda, there are two ways through which you can find an answer on your question. First you can check some pictures, trying to show how it looks like with color blindness. The one which has the least difference to the normal one tells you more about the type of your color blindness.

    Secondly you can check out some color blindness tests. Specially the tests of might reveal, if you are red-, green- or blue-blind.

  3. karen

    my son wants to be an electrician but has protanopia colour defect.he failed on ishihara plate 38.will this put an end to his hopes of being an electrician.he is adamant that he can distinguish different colours.

  4. Daniel Flueck Post author

    Karen, I don’t think at all that this will put your sons dreams to an end. There are many colorblind electricians and there is no entry test as far as I know. If he really wants it he will find his way around and surely develop his strategies in cases he needs some assistance or help on colors.

  5. Abdul Samad

    Recently When I joined the Hotel I realised that I am A Colour Blind for 18 years I was not Aware with the fact that I was Colour Blind I’ve Won Many prizes in Drawing When I was in my School but now the Doctor says that I am Red & Green Partial Blind Which I don’t Understand Normally I can Make Out the Difference Between Red & Green But On the Chart Shown by my Doctor I tend to Become Confuse Is there any Cure for these Defect Cause this is relly becoming a Hurdle for my Future Job as I will Apply for Cabin Crew very Soon Pls Reply ASAP

  6. Kristy

    Can I be color blind in only 1 eye? Colors seen through my left eye (with the right eye closed) don’t come out as they should.

  7. Daniel Flück Post author

    Kristy, it is reported that in some very uncommon cased you might be colorblind only in one eye. Unfortunately I haven’t any further information ready. – But maybe this way you are even able to perceive more colors than everybody else…?

  8. Shanelle

    Me and my mom have different blue to green ideas. I think my raincoat is light blue, she thinks it’s light green. It’s not a teal colour, to me it’s 100% blue. Do you think one of us are blue-green blind or something?

  9. Myrtonos

    “[Anomolous trichromats] have still three different types of color receptors as someone with normal color vision. But one of them is slightly shifted in its peak of sensitivity and therefore you can’t see the same broad color spectrum as others.”

    Actually this is not blindness to any colour but a weakness. As one of the three types is just shifted in sensitivity, it is de-senstitized in one area it is more sensitive in another. Both Deuteranomolous M cones and Protanomolous L cones are more sensitive to yellow than normal. And for this reason Deuteranomolous people have been shown to be better than normal at telling apart certain shades of khaki and I guess that Protanomaly would bring the same adavantage.
    In case of tritanomaly, the S cones are less senitive to blue and more sensitive to Cyan.