How to Explain Color Vision & Color Blindness

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, color blindness affects approximately 8 percent of the male population and 0.5 percent of the female population in the United States. Color blindness can range anywhere from a mild problem differentiating between colors to the complete inability to see color. To explain color vision and a lack thereof, there’s only four simple steps.

Explain cones. According to Medline Plus, cones are nerve cells in the retina that sense and identify color.

Explain photopigments. Photopigments or just pigments are found inside cones; they differentiate between different colors.

Explain the types of color blindness. People who lack one type of pigment can’t differentiate between red and green. Another missing pigment causes problems with blue and yellow. The third type of color blindness is very rare, affecting only 1 in 30,000 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It’s called achromatopsia; it means the person can’t see color at all.

Explain the causes. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states color blindness is caused by mutations in the genes that make pigments. Because of this mutation, pigments can’t be made.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine