Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What is it? Really?

What is it about the fact that I am colour blind that interests people so much? And why is it that the moment that they realise/find out they pick something up and ask me what colour it is?

I have wondered this for many years now. It's a concept that is highly miss understood by many many people! you say colour blind and they are like, "well how do you know what to wear then?" or "do you see in black and white then?" No is the answer to the latter, and to the former the answer depends on what you want to wear with what, so sometimes with difficulty. The one I get most often is "that can only affect men!" Well I'm living proof that those who think that are wrong! 

Anomalous Trichromacy is a type of colour blindness that is usually inherited and affects men and women equally. This is the type of colour blindness I have. It is otherwise known as blue yellow colourblindness. This means that the cone in the eye that picks up on these two colours is different/ focuses on a different area of the spectrum therefore altering the colour vision.

This obviously leads to problems in life, but here is where the misunderstanding lies. A person unless monochromaticaly colourblind, is not completely deficient of the ability to perceive colour. We just cannot perceive certain colours as well as those with normal colour vision. The severity varies from person to person, but my point is that we CAN still see colour!

Recent evidence has suggested that 'colourblind' people actually have and advantage over those with normal colour vision to a certain extent! We 'blinds' can sometime distinguish better between camouflage colours thus meaning that we are able to spot things in the wild more easily. My question to that is, does that come from the hunter gatherer days??? hmmm....

Any way where as my colour vision might be altered, it also shows in my eyes themselves. (Although I must stress this is not the reason for the colour vision problems)In fact my eyes being gawped at was one of the things that triggered the idea to write about this. It was a few weeks back when passing a stranger in a croweded  corridor. I ended up getting quite flustered! As he squeezed passed, he turned to look at my face, and since this has happened before I closed my eyes. (to avoid these situations at all costs). Any way he picked up on it, stopped walking and started quizzing me about the "black spots" all around my iris, just like my pupil has bled, and the dots all around like little pin pricks. (the pupil hasn't bled, it's just that the irides are slightly different shades (not that I can really tell that well) He asked "what is that in your eye, do you wear contacts?" to which I replied in the negative went to carry on walking when he called out to me to wait. As he came over I saw some one I knew so made my excuses and a quick exit. But no I was once again hollered at and asked about my eyes and told I shouldn't hide them! (which I generally do) but he carried on and said "because you are quite mesmerizing!"

I mean really, this is what I get all the time when I meet new people, and sometimes I wear contacts to cover it up, but come on. It's not that interesting!

So really I am trying to find out why my eyes and colour vision are so interesting to people ? what is it about people's eyes that hold so much importance to us?

This I will leave for you to ponder, but I also hope you have read and understood a bit more about the art of colour vision.... Sensible questions welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, i never knew there are different types of color-blind lol. In my situation, when i was born, i had 20/20 vision but when i reached about the age of 10, my vision began to get blurry. But never knew why though, maybe it was because of my diet or hereditary but yea.