Colorblindness is more than just a joke. For those who suffer from colorblindness can have difficulties throughout life, especially in scenarios where distinguishing colors is important to safety and employment. Whether you yourself are colorblind or you know someone who is, understanding the facts about this common condition is important. Here are 9 surprising facts about colorblindness.
1. Colorblindness Occurs More Frequently in Men
Both men an women can suffer from colorblindness, but the condition affects far more men than women. One out of every 12 men suffer from a degree of colorblindness, compared to one out of every 200 women.
2. Most Colorblind People Can See Colors
Colorblind rarely means an individual only sees black and white, a condition known as “complete colorblindness.” Most colorblind individuals can see some colors but may not be able to distinguish between particular colors, like red and green.
3. Color Blindness Has a Number of Causes
Colorblindness can be genetic, but some people suffer from colorblindness because of retina damage, eye disease or the aging process.
4. Color Vision Tests Are important for Some Jobs
In 1875, nine people were killed in a railway accident that occurred because a colorblind rail operator incorrectly read a colored sign. This caused color vision tests to be implemented for railroad workers. In World War II, some people believed color blind individuals could see through camouflage, but today people cannot serve in the military if they are colorblind.
5. Some Animals (but not All) Are Color Blind
Your dog, cat or rabbit is probably mostly colorblind, seeing primarily gray shades. Some animals, including insects like bees and butterflies, can see more colors than humans can.
6. Mark Zuckerberg is Color Blind
The iconic blue Facebook logo is blue because Mark Zuckerberg, its founder, is red-green colorblind.
7. Colorblind Individuals Can’t Get Driver’s Licenses in Some Countries
The countries of Romania and Turkey will not issue driver’s licenses to people who are colorblind, because officials believe they cannot read traffic signals accurately.
8. It’s Possible to be Colorblind in Just One Eye
Unilateral dichromacy is a condition wherein an individual has one normally-seeing eye and one colorblind eye. This condition is rare.
9. Colorblindness Can Affect Cooking Abilities
People who are red-green colorblind may not be able to tell if their meat is thoroughly cooked, because they cannot see various shades of red.
Did any of these facts surprise you? Don’t worry. You are not alone. Many people have little understanding or knowledge of the realities of living with colorblindness.