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Ophthalmology & Optometry/Colorblindness And Rubbing Your Eyes

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Question
I always thought I was "partially colorblind" and just had trouble with a few colors until I took a test as part of a physical when I was in college and the doctor told me I was "full blown colorblind" (he also gave me a name for it but I don't remember what it was).

I feel like I see color and definitely don't see black and white but very often I get them wrong. For example, purple often looks blue to me and there are others with reds, greens, yellows, oranges, etc.

My question is, when I rub my eyes hard, I see blues, reds, and yellows that look neon. The blues are so bright that I would say it isn't like colors I normally see. Is this normal to see very bright colors when you rub your eyes or might I be experiencing color as other people see it?

There are pictures that people can look at to show what colorblind people see compared to a normal image, which both look the same to me, but I have been told how "sad" it is that I can't see color because the image is so dull so I am just curios.

Thank you for your time looking at my question.

Answer
There are many different types of color deficient vision, but the term colorblind is usually used to mean deuteranopia. Just google that word and read up on x-linked inherited color defects.  as you've noted, its the green//brown/red that is 'confused' .   It is not black and white or grey colorless vision, it is just different color, like a misadjusted color TV.  Stop rubbing your eyes so vigorously, you are just pressing on your retinas causing the photochemicals to squish out and trigger 'vision'.  it isn't good to send such violent shock waves through the eye:rub gently and if you ever see 'flashes' of light normally see your eye doctor.
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Mitch Axelrod, OD

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod

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I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.

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Optometrist 19 yrs.

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Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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