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Color Blindness and “The Dress”

2136001_sThe infamous dressthat divided the Internet for days—is it white and gold, or is it
blue and black?

Turns out, the actual dress in the photograph is blue and black, but if
you see white and gold in the picture, you’re not necessarily wrong.
If you see the dress as white and gold, should you be concerned about
color blindness?

No. Key-Whitman’s Dr. Amanda Hoelscher recently explained the dress
phenomenon on the
Emily Trube show on KRLD radio.

How you see the dress has to do with the background, which is blurred out,
and the brain can’t decide if the photo is underexposed or overexposed,
Hoelscher explained. If your brain sees the background as overexposed,
you’ll see the photo as white and gold. And you’re right.
But if your brain sees the background as underexposed, you’ll see
it as black and blue. And you’re also right.

Different brains make different interpretations about the colors you’re
seeing in this particular photo. If you were to see the dress in person
and still see it as colors other than black and blue, then you might need
to see your eye doctor about color blindness.

What is color blindness?

Color blindness (or color vision problem), which affects about one in 12
men and one in 20 women, causes difficulty discerning between red, green,
blue or a mix of these colors.

There are three types of cone cells in the eye. Each type is designed to
sense red, green or blue light. These senses help our brain recognize
color. Someone who is color blind is either missing one of these cone
cells, or they are not working properly.

Color blindness is often inherited, but in some cases, color vision problems
may also be acquired as the result of age, injury to the eye, side effects
of some medications or eye problems such as: glaucoma, macular degeneration,
cataracts or diabetic retinopathy.

Symptoms of color blindness

Symptoms of color blindness include:

  • Ability to see some colors, but not others. For example, inability to tell
    the difference between green and red.
  • Seeing fewer shades of colors.
  • Seeing only black, white and gray (in severe cases only).

In some cases, an individual with color blindness may see many colors and
not know that he or she sees color differently from others.

How color blindness is diagnosed

Color blindness is diagnosed with tests that measure how well an individual
recognizes different colors. It is important that color blindness is detected
as early as possible, as this type of vision problem can affect every
aspect of life. Children with color blindness may have trouble reading
and experience other learning difficulties.

Treatment for color blindness

There is no treatment or correction for inherited or genetic color blindness.
Individuals with acquired color blindness caused by an underlying eye
condition may undergo treatment, depending on the cause of their color
vision problems.

For example, if cataracts are the cause of color blindness, cataract surgery
may correct the problem. Wearing colored contact lenses or glasses that
block glare may also help some people with color vision problems better
discern color.

Your eye doctor can test for color blindness during a routine eye exam.
If you are diagnosed with color blindness, ask your doctor about potential
treatments to correct your color vision problems. Eye surgery for some
eye conditions may improve color vision. If you have difficulty discerning
between colors,
contact Key-Whitman to schedule an eye exam and discuss possible treatment options.

Posted in: Eye Conditions

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COVID-19 Your Health and Safety Remains our Top Priority. Read More.

COVID-19 Your Health and Safety Remains our Top Priority. Read More.