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12 Photos That Show How People With Color Blindness See The World

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Color blindness is still a very poorly described condition. It is, in fact, not a blindness at all but a deficiency, as over 99% of people who suffer from it can see some sort of color. Amazingly, over 8% of men and 0.5% of women suffer from one type of color vision deficiency (CVD). There are three main versions that present themselves due to problems with the cone shaped photoreceptors in our eyes:

  • Protanopia/Protanomaly, meaning a missing/malfunctioning L-Cone (red)
  • Deuteranopia/Deuteranomaly, meaning a missing/malfunctioning M-Cone (green)
  • Tritanopia/Tritanomaly, meaning a missing/malfunctioning S-Cone (blue)

Depending on whether the cone is missing completely or just not working properly, the deficiency is named either a Dichromatism or Anomalous trichromatism but there is also a very very small percentage of the population that presents a full Monochromatism, leaving an absence of color.

Thanks to the great simulator at color-blindness.com, we’re able to see what things would look like through the different types. 

1/ The most common type of CVD is a type of deuteranomaly that many people don’t even know they have.

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2/ It presents itself in around 4.5% of men, and 0.4% of women. Because it only dulls the color pallette, it is undiagnosed in much of the population.

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3/ Protanopia, a form of red-green CVD is much more pronounced. It presents itself in just over 1% of men and a small fraction of women.

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4/ In very rare cases, people experience Tritanopia, which is a missing S-cone and causes everything to take a green/pink hue. Blues are often indistinguishable from greens.

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5/ Tritanopia only presents in 0.0001% of men and women, though obviously it would be a difficult disorder to deal with.

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6/ Some people even deal with Monochromacy, which is the complete lack of color. This causes them to see the world in black and white, like many believe “color blindness” means.

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 7/ Only about 0.00003% of the world experiences full Monochromacy though, making it even more rare than Tritanopia.

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8/ As you can see, people experiencing different kinds of CVD can have trouble distinguishing things. Imagine not knowing which is your favorite team on the field.

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9/ People often have trouble dealing with ripeness of fruits and vegetables as well, as the subtle differences are lost on them. They adapt and look for markers distinct from color.

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10/ Protan, Deutan and Tritan, the roots of the three different cones come from the Greek words for first, second and third.

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 11/ The genes that cause it are passed along the mother’s side. If a woman is red-green colorblind, it is very likely her sons will be as well regardless of the father’s gene.

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12/ Although many see it as a handicap, others might view it as just a new way to see and experience the world.

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