5 Questions about Color Blindness

Lily is working on a school project about color vision deficiency. She’s on the way to write a paper about it and has some questions which I would like to answer in this article.

Question 1: What are your feelings on the recent discovery regarding monkeys and a possible cure for their colorblindness? Do you think that it is legitimate, and do you think it should be used on humans in the future?

I think we have to look at this in a broader view. Personally I don’t believe that one of the big problems of our society is to cure color blindness. But scientific work in this area—genetic eye treatments—may help us to understand much better how we can help other people and heal some severe diseases.

And if there is a breakthrough why shouldn’t we use it on humans? Every person should be free to decide if he or she wants such a treatment or not.

Question 2: Do people affected by monochromatism look at life differently? Do they have less emotions because they live in a black and white world?

Yes, definitely. If you are suffering from monochromatism you are not only living in a gray world but also are severely sensitive to light, long sighted and more. This for sure makes your life look different.

Besides that if we only look at the world in gray colors I also think, that this changes a lot. You will see other things as all the colors don’t disturb your perception. Of course you will also not see certain things as the brightness difference might be to small for your eyes. There are certain things which you would struggle with but overall I would say if you are suffering from monochromacy you don’t look at life differently, but just at the world if you have to fulfill and live in a surrounding created by people with color vision.

And I don’t see any relation between emotions and colors because even little babies show a lot of emotions before they really can see colors at all.

Question 3: Should public schools be required to incorporate information about colorblindness in their science curriculum?

No I don’t think so. There are so many interesting scientific things which we can learn at school and color blindness doesn’t need a special treatment in this curriculum.

What I think should be done is to teach the teachers on the topic of color vision deficiency. Every teacher should at least once hear about it and maybe know some techniques to help colorblind students. I strongly believe that every colorblind pupil will find its way through school perfectly and teachers could support this if they sometimes only would know a little more about it.

Question 4: Are there any alternative attempts to cure colorblindness that you are aware of? If so, how affective are they?

There are people who claim, that corrective colored lenses or glasses can cure your color blindness or also some Chinese medicine techniques claim to help. Personally I don’t believe that there are some other possibilities to cure a color vision deficiency.

In 99% of all cases color blindness is encoded in your chromosomes. Therefore you can’t just adjust something easily or push some hidden trigger to cure it.

Question 5: What social disruptions can colorblindness bring upon a person’s life? Teenagers lives in particular. I am colorblind and my mom and sister are both artists. I can not take art class, interior design, yearbook, or any classes like that because of my condition. Can you think of anymore?

Just recently I received an email from a 15 year old boy who is getting teased by his classmates because of his color blindness. So this really can be a problem but I suppose this doesn’t happen to often and is only a problem at a certain age.

Of course, there are certain jobs you can’t accomplish as a colorblind person. Jobs which relate on color vision as their primary task like the ones you mention, or jobs which need good color vision usually for safety reasons. This often causes a lot of frustration among people who realize that they can’t start a career of their dreams, which I fully understand.

But many other people also can’t make their dreams come true. We have two possibilities to follow in this case. Either we work towards better regulations, better aids and tools, and better education in the topic of color vision deficiency. Or we have to accept that not every dream will become true in our lifes.

8 responses on “5 Questions about Color Blindness

  1. Harry

    Not so sure about Question 5 – I’m colorblind (protanopia) and, while I’m not an artist, I take art classes and love it. A collegue has an art teacher who is colourblind.

    Embrace your colourblindness – it isn’t the end of the world, it is just a different perspective on the world. Art particularly is about the artists view of the world, in your case that includes the colourblindness.

  2. Chae

    I have heard that there are only a few percentages of people among (so called)color blind, who perceives the world in black and white. In Oliver Sack’s book -The island of the color blind- the author mentions that they have special abilities of seeing the stars be cause their eyes are very sensitive to light. Which is definately an advantage.

    And for other types of color blindness I’d like to add this following article.
    The original paper relating to this article could be found on google by serch query “Prof. Mollon”


  3. Paul

    You have misssed out “What are the advantages of being colour blind?” ;-)

    Colour blindness is an inherited condition, it is not unreasonable to suppose that for the mutation to survive there must be some sort of evolutionary advantage to having the genes for it.

    I dont know if this is generally the case but my own observations lead me to believe that (with R/G colour blindness anyway) a possible benefit is greatly enhanced low light level vision (I can see well enough to run in conditions that “Normal” people regard as pitch black)

    I am interested to know if this is generally the case, or just me!

  4. Chae

    This year I’ve read a book called “the brain that changes itself”. The content is pretty interesting. It has a lot of stories about the brain and our senses related to it. I think people visiting this website would be interested. :>

  5. Clr Blnd

    Im also doing a project on colour blindness and I found this information very usefull
    Im looking into a product for colour blind people called Seekey which helps see colours on LED lights etc…
    Does any one have more info on it?

  6. Chae

    I just searched for seekey to see what kind of product it was on google, and there it was. To me it seems like similar to colored contact lenses.

    But here is my question. Would using these products improve the ablility to tell the differences from some colors? As the book I have mentioned above suggests?

  7. Clr Blnd

    Iv’e just presented my project to my class it was an oral presentation.
    Most bloys just asked me how do i prove that im really color blind. I answered them they dont have to believe me but i dont lie!!
    Here are a few stories of my color blind life.
    1 When i was about five my mother was making me a sandwitch when i asked. What is wrong with the peanut butter? There was really nothing wrong with it it was really bright green avocado.
    2 I was playing in the park with a red ball. But i couldnt see it compared to the grass!!
    3 Once i was on a horse trail ride and i asked the instructor why is the horse bleeding next to its mouth? She answered it was just the juice from the grass it was eating horses bleed red blood not green.