Acquired color vision problems

Acquired color vision problems have a variety of causes.

  • Normal aging can increase the chance of a color vision problem, and the color vision problem may change during a person's life. As the lens in the eye ages, the lens darkens. It becomes more difficult to see the difference between dark blues, dark greens, and dark grays.
  • Side effects of certain medicines can cause temporary or permanent color vision problems.
  • Certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy, can cause temporary or permanent color vision problems. Treating these conditions may help preserve or restore color vision.
  • Injury to the eye, such as a part of the retina (macula) or the optic nerve, can cause color vision problems.

Acquired color vision problems:

  • Occur in women as often as in men. Inherited color vision problems are much more common in men.
  • May occur in only one eye or affect one eye more than the other. One eye may have a color vision problem, and the other eye may have normal color vision.
  • May change over time as a person ages or during the course of the disease or injury that causes the problem.
  • Often deprive a person of the ability to see the difference between blue and yellow.

Last Updated: October 7, 2009

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