Colour Vision Deficiency
A black and white rainbow
Case scenario 1:Riya, a toddler, reluctant to join drawing classes recently as she is frequently being bullied by her peers.Teachers have noticed that she is unable to put right colours in her drawings. It is further depressing when her parents came to know that Riya can't see any colours except black and white.
Case Scenario 2:Sajeeb, a student, wanted to be a pilot in his career. His dream was completely shattered when he was not selected in the admission test. Sajeeb was failed to distinguish red and green colour in the test.
The above two scenarios are the cases of colour vision deficiency.
What is color vision deficiency (CVD)?
CVD occurs when the light sensitive cells in the retina fail to respond appropriately to variations in wavelengths of light. It is an inherited condition where the affected gene can transmit to both sexes,but males are the most sufferer.Incidences are highest in Caucasians, but Asians secure their second place.The frequency is 1 in 12 (8%) men and 1 in 200 (0.5%) women. So,it is not surprising to see a colour blind in your neighbourhood.
Types and causes:
Though the condition mainly affects whole colour spectrum, categorization is necessary to distinguish acquired and congenital cases. Congenital(from birth)types are mainly Protanopia (red blindness), Deuteranopia(green blindness), Achromatopsia or Monochromacy or real colour blindness(patients don't experience any colour at all). However, on the other side, people acquire CVD in many conditions such as aging process (over 60 years), Alzheimer's disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Gluocoma or any accidents that damage the retina, Chronic Alcoholism, Perkinson's disease, certain drugs as such Tiagabine for epilepsy and so on.
It is not an uncommon scene when a sufferer of CVD failed to get a desired job where a perfect CV (curriculum vitae) is a precondition (pilot, army, and police). Moreover, there is every chance of road accident, if an affected person misinterpret the traffic signals.Chance of depression is more frequent in the diseased individuals.
Diagnosis and treatment:
When problems appear in front of eyes, either in early childhood or when adult, appointment with an eye specialist is advisable. Ishihara colour blind test might be useful to detect the severity of disease. However, no treatment option is available for congenital cases, but early detection of acquired cases may prevent gradual loss of colour vision. Proper counseling by consultant, family members and adequate support from teachers and peers lessen anxiety arises from having the disease. Gene therapy can bring very promising result in the future.
So, how beautiful a world without colours? No one can say so unless they suffer.