Chances are you know someone who is “color blind.” The American Optometric Association states that nearly 1 in 10 Caucasian males are born with some form of color deficiency; in comparison, just .5 percent of women have the same condition. The reason for this lies in genetics: color deficiency is inherited from a recessive gene that lies on the X chromosome. Since boys have just one X chromosome, if their mother has that particular recessive gene, he will automatically have a color deficiency. However, girls have two X chromosomes, meaning that the non-affected chromosome will be dominant, and they will not show signs of color deficiency (although they may pass it on to their children in the future).
Not all cases of color deficiency are a result of genetics, though. In fact, some injuries to the retina or optic nerve can cause a loss of color recognition, as can certain diseases. Such diseases include diabetes, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, leukemia – even chronic alcoholism. American Optometric Association also suggests several other causes, including certain medications that can affect color vision and exposure to chemicals like fertilizer. Natural aging can also lead to less vibrancy in a person’s perception of color. If you or a family member is experiencing color deficiency, it may be helpful to schedule an appointment with an optometrist to talk about its cause and any effects it may be having on your daily routine. By using your True Dental Discounts membership card, you can save on the costs of each appointment.