The Truth About Color Blindness Essay

2020 words - 9 pages

Colorblindness is quite common, about 8% of the male population have it. Color blindness, or color vision deficiency, is the incapability to see color, or notice color differences under normal light. Color Blindness can change a person’s life. It can make it harder to read and learn, and certain careers are unavailable (Williams, 2010). The most usual case of color blindness is a sex-linked condition. This is caused by an error in the development of the retinal cones that distinguish color in light and transfer it to the optic nerve. Sometimes a person can acquire color blindness from aging, eye problems, injury or a side affect of A medicine.
Color blindness has been around for quite sometime. John Dalton, an English chemist, was the first to report the disorder. He wrote the first scientific paper on color blindness in 1798. The first general condition of color blindness was called Daltonism. Given that both he and his brother were color blind, he realized that this condition has to be hereditary. Dalton believed that a colored liquid inside the eyeball was the reason for color blindness, acting like a tinted shield surrounding the eyeball. Before Dalton died one of his last wishes was to get an autopsy of his eyes after death. Scientists dissected his eye and found no colored liquid. Although Dalton’s theory lost creditability through his life and was proved wrong after his death, Dalton was the first to recognize color vision problems (Wearecolorblind, 2012). After the theory of John Dalton was proved wrong, two men named Thomas Young and Hermann von Helmholtz were the first to propose trichromatic color vision. Once the theory developed, it was not long after the basics were learned. By 1802, Young suggested there were three types of cone cells in the eye. Each cone cell is sensitive to a different particular range of light. By 1850 Hermann von Helmholtz expanded the theory further. Helmholtz stated that the three types of cone cells could be arraigned depending on the wavelengths of light hitting the retina. Short waves are blue, medium waves are green, and long waves are red. Young and Helmholtz’s theory wasn’t proven until 1958 when a Swedish physiologist, named Gunnar Svaetichin, examined the outside layers of fish retinas. Svaetichin found that electroretinograms in wavelengths of blue, green, and red showed particular sensitivity. By 1983 the theory was complete. Scientist Bowmaker, Dartnall, and Mollon achieved microspectrophotopic readings of single eye cone cells in humans ( Wearecolorblind, 2012). We have come a long way since 1798. Today scientists are working on gene therapy, which would cure color blindness. Being a colorblind person, I would love to see this as a breakthrough in the near future.
In America today colorblindness affects roughly 8% European decent, 4% African American decent and only .4% of women. Colorblindness is an X-linked recessive inheritance trait. X-linked recessive is a mode of inheritance that a...

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