Color Blindness

People who are color blind see colors differently than other people. Color blindness usually refers to a color deficiency where it’s difficult to distinguish between different colors. True color blindness, when one can only see black and white, as the term connotes, is extremely rare. The most common type of color blindness in the inability to see the difference between shades of red or green. For example, people with red/green color deficiency will have a difficult time distinguishing between blue and purple because they can’t see the red element which is part of the purple hue.

American Family Vision Clinic

Color blindness is usually an inherited condition and is much more common in males than it is in females. Approximately five to 8% of men have color blindness while in women it’s only around half to 1%. We have certain light sensitive cells at the back of our eyes known as photoreceptors. There are two types of photoreceptors; rods and cones. The rods are responsible for helping us see in the dark while the cones are responsible for color vision and seeing in daylight. If someone is color blind there are certain deficiencies with the function of the cones.

If you think you have color blindness, please Book an Appointment to see Dr. Zurcher who will be happy to check your ability to perceive colors. People who are color blind tend to adjust and don’t have issues with daily tasks and activities.

If you were born being able to see the full range of colors and then either over time or suddenly you notice difficulty in distinguishing colors, please Book an Appointment with Dr. Zurcher as this could be a sign of an underlying condition such as cataract.


You may notice on your own that you’re getting confused between colors or the people around you may tell you that the color which you think you are seeing is actually wrong. If this sounds familiar to your experience then there’s a chance that you may have color blindness.

Color blindness does not usually manifest as only being able to see in black and white. There are different types of color blindness depending on which colors the person has difficulty with and also the amount of colors that are deficient. Usually people with this condition can’t distinguish between certain colors such as red and green. In addition, colors appear to be washed out and are hard to differentiate.

Color blindness can also develop over time or suddenly, as opposed to being a condition from birth. Acquired color blindness could be caused due to:

  • An optic nerve disease - the optic nerve connects the back of the eye to the brain
  • A stroke inside the eye which occurs due to blocked arteries of the eye
  • Eye diseases such as cataract or macular degeneration
  • Some medications
  • Various toxic chemicals

There’s no way to prevent or treat color blindness from birth, but the good news is that it’s almost always considered to be a mild condition and it should not affect your day to day functionality. There are special glasses or contact lenses that can help with color blindness. If a person was not born with color blindness but acquired it over time then your eye doctor will treat the underlying cause.

Common Questions

There are many different types of color blindness, depending on which specific colors and the amount of colors cannot be perceived properly. The main categories are Deuteranomaly - reduced sensitivity to green light; this is the most common type, Protanomaly - reduced sensitivity to red light, and Tritanomaly - reduced sensitivity to blue light; this is very rare
If you think you have color blindness, make sure to Book an Appointment with Dr. Zurcher who can diagnose the condition. The eye doctor will perform a color perception test, known as the Ishihara test. You will be shown a page that has different colorful dots on it and camouflaged in the colors will be a colorful number or shape that you will be asked to identify. Someone who is not color blind will have an easier time identifying the number or shape on the page, whereas a person with color blindness will have a much harder time finding the number or shape amongst the other colors on the page.
Both yes and no. Typically, males with genetic color blindness, which is estimated to be 8% of all males, cannot have color blindness in only one eye. It is possible, however, that a genetic or acquired disorder of the optic nerve and/or macula can decrease the color vision in one eye.
Color Blindness
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Color blindness occurs when a person doesn’t see colors like most people do. It doesn’t usually affect daily functionality as most people with this condition adapt. If you think you have color blindness, you can Book an Appointment with Dr. Zurcher. You can schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor by calling (360) 491-2121. Patients searching for advanced medical eye care visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
1 2 3



How Does Vision Therapy Improve Reading Ability?

According to the American Optometric Association, approximately 80% of what a child learns in school is acquired through vision, and […]

Read More

What Causes Bloodshot Eyes? Understanding the Causes and Treatments

Bloodshot eyes can be alarming, but they are not always a cause for concern. In this blog, we will discuss […]

Read More

Ocular Rosacea: Understanding the Symptoms and Best Treatment Options

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects many people. While it is commonly found on the face, rosacea can also […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

American Family Vision Clinic Logo

Working Hours




400 Yauger Way SW. Bldg 1, Ste A Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 459-1097
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
For Patients
Call Us
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram