Challenges of Color Blindness at Chamblee

Photo courtesy of Bored Panda.

The condition of color blindness has very little to do with seeing black and white. In fact, for most people that are color blind, only specific colors are affected.

“I can see most colors, but everything is much duller,” said freshman Olivia Castro. “There are some colors, but the only reason I can’t see them is because they’re duller, so they blend together.”

Specifically, her blue and purple shades and yellow and green shades are distorted and run together.

“Grass colors that would look green to most people look brown, because it’s duller to a certain degree,” said Castro.

Castro’s father and grandfather also have color blindness, so it wasn’t a shock that she also had the condition. However, it is much more common for males to have color blindness than females.

“It’s [color blindness] genetic and it’s carried on the x-chromosome, so if you remember from ninth grade biology, you get one x from your mom, and then your dad gives an x or a y,” said anatomy and physiology teacher Leila Warren.

For men, having only one x and one y-chromosome can cause sex-linked diseases, such as color blindness, because any genes (characteristic inherited from parents) on the x chromosome must be expressed.

“It’s rare for a girl to get and x from her mom and an x from her dad that both carry color blindness,” said Warren. “Women are normally carriers, but they can be color blind as well.”

For some color blind people, they acquired the condition after birth.

“I wasn’t born with it [color blindness],” said junior Smino Smith. “It was a damage to my eyes, which is partially why I am nearsighted. When I was younger, I had some kind of chemical, I think it was Clorox or ammonia, [get in my eyes]. Something happened, and it was an accident, and it damaged the cone cells in my eyes.”

Although he now has red and blue color blindness, the colors live on in his memory.

“I do actually know what the colors look like. I can remember, but I can’t perceive them,” said Smith.

Castro discovered she was color blind early on in her life.“When I was in kindergarden, you would have coloring worksheets like ‘color this blue, color this purple,’ and my mom would notice that I was constantly picking up the incorrect colors,” said Castro.

After Castro’s eyes were tested, her mom’s beliefs were confirmed. In terms of its effect on her daily life, it has little relevance.

“My biggest trouble is, on a daily basis, is outfits,” said Castro. “It’s very hard for me to match my outfits. I like colors and I don’t like dull outfits, so on most days I have to ask my mom or my sister to make sure I don’t come to school looking crazy.”

Sophomore Victoria Ordonez agrees that her blue and purple color blindness does not have any large bearing on her life.

“Sometimes I pick up blue pens instead of purple pens,” said Ordonez.

However, for freshman Will Jackowski, his condition impacts his work in school.

“One of my assignments I had for Ms. Kaspar was we had to draw a map and we had to draw all the land green and all the water blue, and the names weren’t on the color pencils and I drew all the land brown.”

Jackowski has to take his color blindness into consideration when buying school supplies.  

“I don’t buy crayons or color pencils if they don’t have the name [of the color] on it,” said Jackowski.

Companies such as EnChroma are currently developing color blindness correcting glasses to try and lessen the effects of color blindness.

“In seventh grade, I entered a contest and won colorblind correcting glasses,” said Castro, who is always surprised to see the different colors after putting on the glasses.

With or without the glasses, those with color blindness have adjusted to life with dimmer or less distinct colors.

“I don’t really know any different, so I kind of just try and deal with it,” said Jackowski.

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