Red-Green Color Blindness Doesn’t Exist

Hey, everybody knows that red-green color blindness is the most common type of color vision deficiency. How can I claim that it doesn’t exist at all? – I’ve got not only one but three reasons which support my statement that there is no type of color vision deficiency which really deserves the name red-green color blindness.

Red and Green Peppers
Only Gray Peppers?

When you realize or get told that one of your friends is colorblind, most probably you remember the term red-green color blind and try to imagine, what this means:

  • My friend can neither see red nor green?
  • He can’t distinguish those two colors at all?
  • Besides red and green he has no problems with colors?
  • Or maybe red and green look like gray to him?

This is all wrong and the reason why I say, that there is no such form of color deficiency which should be called red-green color blindness. And here are my three arguments which strongly support the sentence: Red-green color blindness doesn’t exist.

(1) Red-green color blindness doesn’t exist, because there are really two distinct forms: red-blindness (protanopia/protanomaly) and green-blindness (deuteranopia/deuteranomaly). Protan defects are caused by a shift of the peak of the red sensitive cones in your eye towards the green peak, or if they are missing at all. For deutan defects the same is true for the green sensitive cones. And even if the naming sounds like a combination of both, you are suffering just under one of them.

(2) Red-green color blindness doesn’t exist, because if you are colorblind you will encounter problems with colors from the whole color spectrum. There is no such color vision deficiency which is only focusing on certain colors like red or green. The so called confusion lines can give you a quite good understanding of how a color spectrum is seen by color blind people.

(3) Red-green color blindness doesn’t exist, because if you are really colorblind, you really can see only in gray. This is called monochromacy or achromatopsia, which affects only a handful of all color blind people. In this case it doesn’t make sense to talk about any colors at all. On the other side, if you have only problems with your red, green or blue sensitive cones, this isn’t actually color blindness but some form of color vision deficiency. Or as I put it in another article: Color Blindness is not ‘Color Blindness’.

If you still think, that you are suffering from red-green color blindness, have a look at Which Type of Red-Green Color Blindness is It? and learn more about the real type of your color vision deficiency.

Foto taken by Martin LaBar

13 responses on “Red-Green Color Blindness Doesn’t Exist

  1. Laura Engrish

    You’re stupid. It’s a genetic defect caused in the X chromosome. It doesn’t make it so you can’t SEE the colors red and green. It doesn’t make them look grey or anything like that. It makes it difficult to distinguich between browns, greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. These colors are close to eachoth on the spectrum, and certain shades of them look the same to someone suffering form red-green colorblindness. Just becasue the name doesn’t EXACTLY fit, does not mean it doesn’t exist. You think you’re smart, but you’re not well informed and you have no reasoning for what you’ve said. To put it simply, red green colorblindness isn’t just something that people see. It’s not just something that people can tell they have and say “OH!!! I can’t see colors perfectly! I have this!!!!!!” like a moron. It’s a genetic disorder. When a person has it, it can be proven by genetic testing. There is a HUGE difference between actual colorblindess and red-green colorblindness. So before you write MORE articles trying to say that genetic defects are FAKE, do some research so you don’t sound like such a dumbass.

  2. Daniel Flück Post author

    Laura, thanks for your critical comment. If I read through it, it sounds quite similar to what I wrote, just in other words… And a bit of irony should be allowed from someone with a strong red-green color blindness :-)

  3. Bubba Hotep

    So, Laura,

    Interesting rebuttal. Are you an engineer? I ask because most of that caste tends to be socially retarded. Yes, they can be intelligent people, but sometimes are unable to carry on a meaningful conversation with another human being outside of their myopic focus of understanding. Your dissertation regarding accuracy in writing, and appropriate research is most welcome. Please note, proof reading goes a long way in bolstering your position. That being articulated, your comment “…colors are close to eachoth on the spectrum,…” goes a long way in making you appear, as you beautifully put it, “…a dumbass.”

  4. Rogue

    I’m Red-Green color blind. It does exist! As I always say I’m color blind, no color stupid! Just so you are aware I went to preschool just like you did i’m sure, and colors have been reinforced through out your life. I learned grass is green, violets are blue?? (i thought they were violet) and roses are red, but the green and red I see, I have no idea what it looks like to you, how vibrant it is or how many hues you can see of it. I know how I see them, and I know in certain light conditions I can confuse them. I especially know I have a delayed reaction to red. if i took a reaction test with blue lights I would be able to have a much faster reaction time. So consider nextime some one says their colorblind, DO NOT ask what color is this or that, cause they WILL know what they have been taught it is.

  5. Ezra

    It seems like not very many have actually read what Daniel Fluck wrote or maybe I am just so educated that I understand it. What he is saying is that the term ‘colorblind’ is misleading and not that the actual condition does not exist. This misrepresentation of the condition should be changed because personally, as a woman who has problems with especially green and has been deemed ‘colorblind,’ it is so annoying to be asked if I am indeed blind. Fluck’s point is this is not a blindness, just a deficiency.

    You have a great website that is truly noteworthy. Hopefully, it will educate the world on this condition.

  6. Harriet Russell

    I found a site called vischeck that will simulate different color visions: deuteranopia, protanopia, and tritanopia on files you can upload to the page.
    I’ve used the site to convert a color chart, and have begun making fabric surface designs specifically to look good to everyone, including people with so-called color blindness. I would love it if I could get some feedback from people with different color-vision problems on how successful they are. They’re on my flickr site.
    Thanks …Harriet

  7. Phil

    I agree with Ezra,
    I have “red-green color blindness” as well and have often thought of it as a misnomer. All I know is when I was in kindergarten I colored the grass red in every picture I colored. Then was diagnosed. I think that’s all the author was saying. It’s a misnomer.

  8. Sylvester


    I dont really understand what Author meant here. Does he say that Red-Green Color blindness doesn’t exist? – If so, I totally dis-agree.
    As Laura, I’m also an Engineer :)I’ve my friend who cant distinguish between “red, orange, Green”. So just by saying things doesn’t exists, kindly be aware/well informed.
    If you have meant something else & it was interpreted wrongly, – kindly make it simple and precise so that people can understand what you meant


  9. PaulDPearl

    Author is a moron… As a RED/Green color blind person I can tell you that I can see colors, I even see a versoin of Red and Green, but they don’t appear to me as they would appear to you.. and in fact, can look ALIKE…

  10. Tasha

    Okay lol so I am a bit late but like me others will find and read this thread far beyond the original dates so I thought I would add my 2 cents. First off I totally understand what the author is saying and I don’t think many people read it you are correct….or maybe they did and they are just “special” lol. Second off, of course here are red-green colorblind females it just means you have to have inherited the gene from both your mother and father to actually have the problem. I would know, I am not colorblind but carry a recessive color blind x, my kids father is color blind. I gave 2 of my daughters that x and of course…so did their dad. So out of 4 children I have 2 color blind daughters and my son is not (I gave him my other x I guess) and neither is my last daughter.

    To the author, good article I agree with you completely. thanks or a great and also sardonically amusing read….for those of us who understand what sardonic means and what the article was saying.