Color vision is a complex process beginning with a structure in the eye called the retina. Within the retina are receptor cells called rods and cones. The cone receptors correspond primarily to vision in our central visual field and are best at detecting detail and colour. There are 3 different cones types, each responding best to a certain wavelength of light. When light strikes the eye, the cone cells react to the light and send chemical signals to the brain. The brain then translates the chemical signal into the colour we perceive.
Some people have an altered perception of colour, often referred to as color blindness or color deficiency. There are many forms and causes of altered color vision. The two most common types for color blindness are dichromacy and anomalous trichromacy. Dichromacy is the more severe color deficiency caused by the absence or malfunction of one of the 3 types of cones. Anomalous trichromacy is more common and occurs when one of the 3 cones does not function properly.
Most people with color blindness adapt well to their environment. It is important to recognize altered color perception in children so that teaching methods can be adjusted and leeway provided for responses to color based problems. Some colored filters, software, apps and other devices can provide some assistance in overcoming issues with color discrimination.
At 360 Eyecare – Metro we can test for colour vision deficiency. Call us if you have any questions or concerns about your vision or to book an appointment (416) 782-7301.