Colorblind People Feel Handicapped

I was trying to find out, if color blindness does handicap you in your everyday life or if you get along without this feeling. Thank you very much for participating in this poll which was started ten days ago with the question: Do You Feel Handicapped by Your Color Blindness?

Answer Votes
Yes, sometimes 35
No, not really 17
Not colorblind 9

We had just over 60 people sharing their feelings about their color blindness with us. Nine of them aren’t colorblind themselves but still voted. This tells me that there are also a lot of people looking for information about color vision deficiency without suffering from it themselves. Thank you.

The other 52 votes can almost be split into two third/one third. Twice as many people feel handicapped as rather not. Of course this are very subjective impressions but that’s exactly what it is meant to be. Only if you are colorblind yourself you can judge about how it feels to carry this deficiency around with you every single day. And no academical study can ever prove it differently.

Colorblind Poll Results
Colorblind Poll Results

Looking at the numbers it is a very clear result we got here. To tell you the truth, when I started the poll I thought it would be maybe half/half between felling handicapped and not. But this results teach me that I was wrong.

There is also something else we have to take into account. Not everybody suffers the same severity of color blindness. And I suppose people with a less severe form would more likely vote for not feeling handicapped than people with some severe forms like dichromatism (red-, green- or blue-blind persons).

All together this tells you, that colorblind people definitely feel handicapped in their everyday life. There are so many situations and stories to tell where color blindness is a little or even a big burden.

And even so there is no organization or foundation, no real entry point for people looking for information about color blindness; and even more important, nobody represents the concerns of colorblind people towards the government, schools, employers…

Can Color Blindness Cause Eye Pain?

Usually everybody talks about congenital color blindness—inherited through your parents.

But there are also many people who are suffering from acquired color vision deficiency which isn’t present from birth on and even could disappear again after a certain timespan.

Several days ago my boyfrined told me that his eyes started to hurt form time to time. He never had problems with the eyes. He is a web designer and a programmer though. This pain was increasing from day to day and yesterday the doctor told him that he has some type of Daltonism. He started to loose the real colors during dayperiod. He was told to get physical health and make exercises often.

I want to know is this possible? Can this be a real diagnoses and how can we help it?

It is definitely possible to loose color vision. This can be caused by many different diseases, some of them I’ll list below. Concerning this diagnosis the main question I would ask is:

Can any form of color blindness cause eye pain?

In this case you can compare it with near- or farsightedness. Some people have it, some not. Most people get farsighted when they get older but most important of all, it never causes pain. This is just what and how you can see, but it can never be the cause of pain. It might only be a symptom for some other disease.

This is the same with any type of color vision deficiency. It doesn’t matter if you acquire it or suffer from some congenital form, color blindness never causes any pain. In this case the described color vision problem is caused by something else. The color blindness itself is a side-effect of this and the pain must be caused by something different.

Here is a list of possible causes to loose color vision:

  • Diabetes, a disease in which you don’t produce or properly use insulin.
  • Injury. A strong hit on your head could make you loose color vision.
  • Age.. With age some changes in the eye can cause a blue-weakness.
  • Chemicals, Drugs and heavy Tobacco smoking.
  • Glaucoma

This list is not complete and there are many other diseases which can in certain cases cause color blindness.

Comparing the above description of eye pain and the list of diseases which could be a cause of loosing color vision, I would say it could be some form of Glaucoma. This is caused by an increasing pressure of the fluid inside the eyeball. There are many different forms of glaucoma, but some of them can cause eye pain and can develop enough pressure onto the blood vessels in the eye to cause some form of color vision deficiency.

The advice to get physical exercise sounds a bit strange to me but it could help (I’m not an eye specialist). Most important is, that color blindness doesn’t cause eye pain and therefore there must be something else causing the pain and with the side effect of loosing proper color vision.

I would strongly recommend you to contact an eye specialist to find the real reason behind the pain. He should be able to give you a proper diagnosis and hopefully can cure it.

You might also like to visit the Glaucoma Research Foundation, which provides a lot of very useful information and also offers help.

Poll: Do You Feel Handicapped by Your Color Blindness?

This poll is finished. You can see the results at Colorblind People Feel Handicapped.

As we know, color blindness is very common among men. Approximately every twelfth men is suffering from some type of color vision deficiency, most often some form of red-green color blindness.

And this group of colorblind people—including the colorblind women among us—can be split into two parts: On one side you have the persons who don’t think that their color blindness is an obstacle for them. They don’t really feel handicapped through it and often forget about it in everyday life.

On the other side we have colorblind men and women who feel in some way uncomfortable with their color vision deficiency. Now and then there are situations coming up where their color blindness handicaps them. It’s not all the time but they think more of their deficiency as a burden they have to carry.

To which side are you belonging to?

Please join in the poll and share your answer. You can also find the poll on the sidebar where you also can get a glance at the results of the ongoing poll on a daily base.

The poll will be running for ten days. So I’ll post and comment the results September 27th on Colblindor.

It would also be very interesting to know in which way you feel handicapped or if not, why not? Please add your thoughts in the comments section and share it with other colorblind visitors.

Red-Green Color Blindness doesn’t mean You can’t Distinguish Red from Green

Often people think that if you are suffering from red-green color blindness you can not distinguish red from green at all. But they are wrong.

The term red-green color blindness isn’t accurate and doesn’t describe the actual color vision deficiency correctly. If you have a look at the confusion lines of the CIE 1931 color space you will see, that there are many different lines in the color space which connect undistinguishable colors to a colorblind person. Therefore a red-green color vision deficiency makes you colorblind to many more colors than just red and green.

Red Green
red green red green taken by Crystl

On the other side it depends strongly on the brightness and saturation of colors to make them hard to distinguish if you are colorblind. Colorblind people often develop some sort of color intuition which is based not only on the hue but also on the brightness of the color they see. Something which is hard to imagine if you have normal color vision.

For example some shades of red are close to green, others close to brown and again others are even close to black. The following list shows a few examples of colors which look close to each other and can’t be distinguished easily if you are suffering from red-green color blindness:

  • yellow — bright-green
  • orange — grass-green
  • apple-red — leave-green
  • dark-green — brown
  • blue-green — gray — purple
  • dark blue — violet

As a conclusion you can say that some reds and some greens are very well distinguishable. It depends very much on the brightness and the saturation of each color to make them undistinguishable for a red-green colorblind person.

Study on How Color Blindness Affects Pilots

Besides the unreliability of color vision tests for pilot candidates it is also often discussed, how well your color vision has to be to acquire a pilots license.

Usually you have to have normal color vision—or at least almost perfect color vision—to pass the medical tests on the way to get a pilots license (color vision information for pilots). Any type of color blindness is a no go.

Not everybody agrees with this color vision standards for pilots. While some argue that perfect color vision is required to manipulate all the complex cockpit instruments correctly and see the warn and signal signs for aviation, others say that you don’t need to have perfect color vision to be a good and most important securely flying pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants to find out more about how color blindness affects pilots. They started a major study and researchers are determining whether color identification difficulty develops, worsens or stays the same at high altitudes.

They are working together with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) and are giving volunteers several color vision tests to identify relations between color blindness and different altitudes. The outcome of this study could provide new sources of information for the requirements on color vision when acquiring a pilots license.

KSBI-TV news on the major study how color blindness affects pilots

Picking Fruits as a Colorblind Man

We have got an appletree in our garden and today I finally found some time (and motivation) to pick all the ripe apples. Besides handling them with care and sorting them out, the toughest part for me definitely was the picking itself.

My red-green color blindness turned out to be quite a handicap while trying to find all the apples on the tree. The apples are mostly yellow with some of them turning red. I also wanted to pick the rotten ones which show any color between yellow-red and brown.

Appletree – taken by ms.Tea

As the tree has many green leaves and brown branches it was really hard work to spot all yellow, red and brown apples. Not because they were hidden inside the tree but because I couldn’t really spot them by their color.

The picture here pretty much shows you how it looked like. You might say now, that there isn’t a huge difference between the apple and the leaves even for somebody with normal color vision. But for my colorblind eyes, there is no color difference at all. I can only spot the apple by its shape.

Conclusion: I definitely wont become a fruitpicker—at least not in this colorblind life.