Can Women Be Color Blind

Color blindness is the inability to distinguish certain shades of color. The most common form, red-green color blindness can be inherited or acquired during lifetime through certain eye trauma. Males are more likely to be affected although women can carry and pass on the defective genes. This article explains how red-green color blindness affects people’s life and looks into some research done with color vision deficiency.

There Are Many Types of Color Blindness.

There are many types of color blindness. The most common form is red-green color blindness, which is caused by a problem in the retina that prevents people from seeing certain colors clearly. People with this condition have difficulty distinguishing between reds and greens or making out shades of orange and yellow. It’s estimated that 8 percent of all men have some degree of red-green color blindness, while less than 1 percent of women do.

Color Blindness Tests for Women

A doctor or optometrist may recommend a simple eye exam to check for color blindness. You can also download a free online test at Vischeck or Color Blindness Test Online (by Dr. Ishihara).

 Red-Green Color Blindness Is The Most Common Type.

Red-green color blindness is the most common type. It affects between 8% and 12% of men and 0.5% of women. It’s caused by a problem with the protein in the retina that transmits light information to the brain. This protein is called L-cones, which help you see reds, greens and yellows. If you have this type of color blindness, it means you have fewer L-cones than normal, which makes it more difficult for your eyes to distinguish between reds, greens and yellows.

The other most common type of color blindness is blue-yellow color blindness, which affects between 2% and 6% of men and 1% of women. Blue-yellow colorblindness means that some people have trouble distinguishing between blues and yellows or greens and browns due to an unusual sensitivity to either blue or yellow light in the retina.

There are other types of color blindness too — for example red-green color deficiency along with blue-yellow deficiency (a condition known as dichromacy) or just blue-yellow deficiency (monochromacy).

Men Are More Likely to Be Colorblind Than Women.

Men are more likely to be colorblind than women. In fact, more than 8 percent of men have some form of color vision deficiency (CVD), compared with only 0.5 percent of women.

One reason for the difference may be that men are genetically predisposed to color blindness. Women who carry the gene for CVD are less likely to pass it on to their children because they usually don’t have an affected X chromosome. A woman with two X chromosomes will have one normal and one abnormal X chromosome in every cell in her body — except for those cells that make eggs or sperm. So when she has a boy baby, his sex chromosome will determine whether he inherits his mother’s condition or not. Boys inherit either an XY pair (normal) or an XXY pair (affected).

If you’re a woman with a mutated X chromosome who gave birth to a boy with CVD, chances are he will suffer from protanopia or deuteranopia — two of the most common types of CVD — because these conditions are caused by mutations in genes located on the X chromosome. If you’re a man with an affected Y chromosome (not very common), your chances of passing on CVD are much higher, but they still aren’t 100 percent.

Women Who Are X-Linked Red-Green Colorblind Generally Have Sons and Grandsons Who Are Affected By Red-Green Colorblindness Too.

Women who are X-linked red-green colorblind generally have sons and grandsons who are affected by red-green colorblindness too.

Women who are X-linked colorblind are unable to distinguish between certain shades of red and green. They may never be aware of the problem themselves, but they can pass it on to their sons or grandsons.

  • X-linked inheritance pattern

X-linked inheritance occurs when a gene responsible for a trait is located on the X chromosome (one of the two sex chromosomes). If a woman inherits an abnormal copy of this gene from her mother, she will develop the condition. If she inherits an abnormal copy from her father, she will be a carrier. Women cannot pass X-linked traits onto their daughters because they do not have Y chromosomes. Instead, X-linked traits are passed to all of a woman’s sons and grandsons (but not her daughters).

Women Can Be Blue-Yellow Colorblind.

Blue-yellow colorblindness is the rarest form of color blindness and affects only 1 in 10,000 people. The most common symptom is difficulty distinguishing between red and green. However, it can also cause problems with orange and brown colors.

In women, this type of color deficiency is caused by a defect on the X chromosome that leads to a decrease in photopigment (the chemical responsible for color vision). In men, this condition may also be caused by a defect on the X chromosome or may be inherited from one parent who has normal vision but carries the gene for this disorder.

Blue-yellow colorblindness usually does not affect your daily activities unless you work as a painter or electrician or if you enjoy gardening or other outdoor activities where there are many shades of green foliage and brown soil.


Women can have color blindness, but it’s very rare. Most people associate color blindness with men, since more men than women have this type of colorblindness. To be precise, about 8% of all men are color blind, while only 0.4% of women are (source). This huge discrepancy is due to the fact that there is a single gene which causes red-green color blindness. The good news is that women who carry the gene usually won’t end up being color blind themselves.

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