Do you see a number in these dots? If you do, you are like most people. But if you don’t, you are probably one of more than 300 million people worldwide that suffer from Color Vision Deficiency also known as color blindness.
The way we perceive the world is different for everyone. Imagine how different an autumn landscape looks, or the pieces of a boardgame for that matter if colours would blend together. Unlike popular belief most color blinds do see color not just black and white. Certain colors appear washed out due to overlapping contrast and are therefore easily confused with other colors. This can create difficulties during simple daily tasks. Is this meat is still raw or ready to serve? Is this device on or off? Which player is on which team?
So how does Color Vision Deficiency work and can you really trust the colors you see? Eyes are very complex organs. Our retina’s are made up 120 million rods, and over 6 million red green and blue cones. Cones pick up light at different wavelengths and make us see colors and fine details. When a cone malfunctions or is completely absent this mechanism fails.
The most common form is red-green color blindness while blue-yellow color blindness often occurs at a higher age. Since the genes responsible for the most common forms are on the X Chromosome men are more likely to be color blind then women. But even if you’re not colorblind, the way you perceive color can still differ from person to person. For example, take this picture of a dress. Some people would argue it’s colored white and gold, others might say it’s black and blue.
Here’s how that works. The rods in our retina give us the ability to detect the presence and intensity of light, letting your brain construct a picture. It compensates blue-white color shades during the day and red color shades during the night. Your brain filters these shades in order to see the “real color” of an object. But when the colors are on a particular border of those shades, like this picture. Some filter the blue color and some filter the golden color.
In any case, everyone has his own reality.
What’s beautiful to one person, might look ugly to the next. We all might do well to remember this and first try to understand one another, before we give judgement about opinions, taste or, yes, colors!
Do you have some form of Color Vision Deficiency? Or do you think someone you know has it? Check our website for a quick test, like the one at the start of this video.
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