Causes ofcolour vision deficiency

Inthe vast majorityof cases, colour vision deficiency iscaused by a genetic fault passed on to a child by their parents (see below).

It occurs because some of thecolour sensitive cells in the eyes, called cones, are either missing or don't work properly.

Occasionally,colour vision deficiencymay develop later in life asthe result of:

  • an underlyinghealth condition such as diabetes , Glaucoma , age-related macular degeneration and multiple sclerosis
  • a side effect of a medication including digoxin, ethambutol, chloroquine, hydroxychloroqine, phenytoin and sildenafil
  • exposure to harmful chemicals such ascarbon disulphide and styrene

Many people also find it more difficult to distinguish between colours as they get older.This is normally just a natural part of the ageing process.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018