What Are the Causes of Color Blindness in Men?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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Color blindness in men is much more common than in women, although the reason for this is not completely understood. Genetics plays an important role in the development of color blindness in men, although there are other potential causes as well. Traumatic injuries, diseases affecting the eyes, and side effects of some medications may lead to the development of colorblindness. Any questions or concerns about color blindness in men should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Genetic mutations are thought to be the leading cause of color blindness in men. This is thought to be due to defects in the X chromosome. Males have only one X chromosome, while females have two copies. Females who have one defective X chromosome are less likely to develop color blindness because the healthy copy can help to compensate for the defect. With only one X chromosome, males do not have the benefit of an extra chromosome, causing an increased risk of developing color blindness.

Traumatic injuries may contribute to the development of color blindness in men. These injuries may involve direct damage to the eyes or the surrounding structures. In many cases, however, the resulting color blindness is due to an injury to the brain. Most of this type of damage occurs due to accidental injury, although physical abuse, such as is seen in shaken baby syndrome, can often lead to color blindness later in life.


Diseases that are known to trigger color blindness in men include glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Diabetic retinopathy may occur in patients who have diabetes and can lead to a variety of visual disturbances, including color blindness. Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions that affect the eyes and should be consulted when there are any changes that affect the vision.

Treatment for color blindness in men may or may not be possible, depending on the cause of the condition. There are no effective treatment methods available for inherited forms of color blindness, and some patients will progressively lose vision, sometimes becoming completely blind. Acquired forms of this condition may be able to be treated if caught in the early stages of disease, although this is completely dependent on the exact cause as well as the overall health of the patient. This makes it vitally important to see a doctor immediately when any changes to vision occur.



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