NFL Nightmare for the Color Blind

Most everyone watching the Bills v. Jets NFL game in November probably enjoyed the holiday-like colors of the two teams. With the Bills in red and the Jets in green, it made for a great scene on the screen. Unfortunately for the estimated 8% of men who experience color blindness, the game looked like a gray mess. A Twitter storm appeared as people realized that it would be impossible for color blind people to distinguish between the two teams.

Red-Green Color Blindness

red green color blindThis is because the most common form of color blindness is red-green, which is often hereditary. Color blindness occurs when cone cells in the eye don’t function properly. It’s also important to note that men are much more likely to be color blind than women. Genes responsible for causing hereditary color blindness are found on the X chromosome. Men have one X chromosome, and women have two, so it’s more likely women’s genes can compensate non-functioning cones with the added chromosome.

Other Forms of Color Blindness

blue yellow color blindThere are other types of color blindness including blue-yellow and complete color blindness. Blue-yellow colorblindness is the same as red-green, but in this case, blue and yellow cone cells don’t operate correctly.  Complete color blindness means you can’t distinguish between any colors, and vision (seeing clearly) could also be affected.

Color blindness can’t be cured, but there are some lenses that could potentially help those who are red-green color blind. There are also visual aids, iPhone and iPad apps that can help color blind people determine colors. That probably would have been helpful for any color blind people watching the Bills v. Jets game on TV this November…

Think you may be color blind?

If you suspect you may experiencing some type of color blindness, visit your local Eyeglass Store so an optometrist can help determine a diagnosis.

If you want to see a more in-depth look at how a color blind person may have seen the Bills v. Jets game, click here.