Color Vision Deficiency Syndrome (Color Blindness)

Essay by silverfirexz January 2005

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Color Vision Deficiency Syndrome, more commonly known as color blindness, is a primarily genetic disease occurring mostly in males, but can also be caused by eye injuries or chemical imbalances.

Although the name color blindness sounds as though a person suffers from a complete lack of color vision, this is not the case, with rare exceptions. Color Vision Deficiency is usually a case of being unable to distinguish between two colors. Depending on the colors that are undistinguishable, this may or may not be an inconvenience for the bearer.

As a genetic disease, it is inherited via the X chromosome. Because males have only one X chromosome, and depending which numbers are believed, anywhere from thirty to eighty percent of the male population is color blind. This is because the syndrome is a recessive gene, and, since males have only one X chromosome, they do not have a dominant gene to mask the recessive one.

Females, however, very rarely carry two X chromosomes with the same recessive gene for Color Vision Deficiency. Thus, only about one in two hundred females suffer from this condition.

To understand Color Vision Deficiency, one must first have a basic grasp of the workings of the human eye and colors in general. There are three primary colors for light: red, green, and blue. The eye works based off of these three colors. The eye picks up mixtures of these colors through the retina, which is an intricate, camera-like system that changes light energy into electrical energy that is transmitted to the brain. Within the retina, two types of photoreceptor cells called rods and cones are responsible for this conversion. Cones convert the color, and are equipped with visual pigments that are sensitive to one of the three primary colors of light. Normally, people...