Color blindness, also known as ""color vision deficiency,"" is a condition that means your ability to distinguish some colors and shades is less than normal. It occurs when the color-sensitive cone cells in your eyes don't properly pick up or send the proper color signals to your brain. About eight percent of men and one percent of women are color-deficient. Very few people are actually color ""blind"" and see the world only in black and white; most just have problems with a few colors. The most common form of color blindness is the inability to distinguish certain shades of red or green. There's also a rare type of color vision deficiency in which people have difficulty distinguishing the colors blue and yellow. In very rare cases, no color can be detected, only shades of black, white, and gray. It's not known what causes color blindness, but it's frequently an inherited condition. It can't be cured, but in some cases, a special, red-tinted contact lens can help improve vision. If you've noticed a less vivid perception of color, it may not be color blindness, but rather a symptom of a developing cataract or deterioration of the retina. If you weren't tested for color vision deficiency early in life, ask an eye care professional about doing so now.
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