What Can Cause Color Blindness?

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Color blindness is the inability of a person to see certain colors. It does not mean that the person suffering cannot see any kind of color. There is a color vision deficiency which prevents the person to see shades of a particular color. This occurs due to defective or faulty cones in the eyes. The stage of color blindness depends on the defect or the damage the cone has suffered. Before the comprehensive eye exam is conducted, the optometrist will get the history of the diseases you are suffering from. This is because many factors cause color blindness. Some of these causes are mentioned below.

Eye Problems

Various diseases can affect the functioning of the eyes. Almost all eye diseases slowly interfere with the vision, and hence, can cause color blindness issue too. This color blindness can be treated by curing the base eye problem. Some of the diseases that can cause color blindness are:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Optic neuritis
  • Macular degeneration


Diabetes is a primary cause of color blindness. Excess sugar in the body damages the blood vessels that reach the eye. This decreases the amount of blood reaching the eye and creates scar tissues near the retina. As a result, it leads to problems like blurred vision, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and more. All of these problems affect the cones of the eye which makes a person color blind.


When there is a sudden trauma to the head, there is a chance that the part of the brain that is responsible for vision may get damaged. This can cause vision problems including color blindness. Also, the shaken baby syndrome which occurs when someone forcefully shakes the child can cause color blindness. Also, an injury to the eye can directly damage the cone cells and cause color blindness.

Effect of Drugs

Certain medications affect the functioning of cone cells and optic nerves of the eye. This causes a loss of color vision in a person. Some of the medications that can cause color blindness are:


  • Amiodarone
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Ethambutol


The most frequent cause of color blindness is genetics. Most of the people suffering color blindness from birth have got this from the genes present in their body. A defect in X chromosome from the genes of the mother is responsible for transferring the disorder in the child. Women have XX chromosomes and male have XY chromosomes. This means unlike females, males do not have another X chromosome that can offset the defect of color blindness in X chromosome. This is the reason that males are more prone to genetic color blindness than females. This type is not treatable but can be managed with the help of various measures suggested by an optometrist in Edmonton.

To determine the exact cause of your color blindness, you need to go through various eye tests that are available. For proper guidance and solution to all your eye-related problems schedule an appointment with our OPT cLinic in Edmonton today.