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What are the Treatments for Color Blindness?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The primary treatments for color blindness include surgery, tinted contact lenses, glasses, and sometimes a change in certain medications. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of color blindness, but many cases can be successfully treated when caught early enough.

One potential cause of color blindness is cataracts, and these can be removed by surgery in most cases. Cataracts can distort vision and cause color recognition problems and other vision changes. Many patients are eligible for surgery to remove them, and then vision should return to normal or almost normal after healing has occurred.

Treatments for color blindness can also include switching the type or dosage of certain medications. Very rarely, prescription drugs can affect the perception of certain colors. By avoiding these medications when able, this side effect may be reversed or lessened over time.

Those who cannot undergo either of these treatments for color blindness may find that using tinted contact lenses help with color perception. These allow patients to see variations in colors, although they do not allow color blind people to see accurate perceptions of many shades. Vision will still be slightly distorted, but patients will sometimes be able to resume normal activities while driving and engaging in other activities.

Sometimes tinted shades can also be used to help reduce glare on the eyes. This helps to treat color blindness because darker environments generally allow colors to be seen more easily. The exact tint of sunglasses or shades may vary based on the patient.

Other treatments for color blindness can include classes for patients who cannot be treated so they can learn coping techniques. Lack of color perception can hinder the ability to do certain activities, and these individuals may be able to regain independence to some extent. This is especially helpful for those who do not see any colors.

Treatments for color blindness are only affect with those who acquire the condition later in life. Those who are born with congenital color blindness do not benefit from treatments and must learn to live with their condition. Testing can be completed to determine if someone is color blind, since many individuals who are born with the condition will not realize it is immediately.

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Discussion Comments

By Feryll — On Feb 15, 2015

@Laotionne - I don't know how the words color blindness came to be used to describe the vision impairment of not being able to tell some colors from other colors, but you are right that the term is misleading. This condition is also called CVD (color vision deficiency) sometimes, which makes more sense than "color blind" in my opinion. However, I haven't heard this term used much other than by doctors and nurses.

My grandmother had cataracts removed from her eyes when she was older, and she said that the colors she saw were much more vibrant and the colors she saw didn't blend together like they did before the surgery.

By Laotionne — On Feb 14, 2015

I always thought the term color blind meant that a person could not see any colors. I thought they saw all things in back and white like watching one of those old black and white movies. The more I read I'm beginning to think I have had a misunderstanding of the condition for all of this time.

By mobilian33 — On Feb 13, 2015

I didn't have any idea that there were this many treatments for color blindness. I thought the condition was something you were born with and you had to live with not being able to fully distinguish colors for your entire life.

I worked with a guy who was the lead operator on a machine that printed cloth. We had to use barrels of dye to print the colors and designs on the cloth. As you can imagine, being color blind was a problem for him since he was partially responsible for getting the colors printed on the cloth in the correct places and in the correct shades.

He would always ask me or whoever else he was working with if he had the barrels of dye in the right place, so he wouldn't end up printing purple flowers when he was supposed to be printing blue flowers.

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