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My daughter is 12 and we just realized about six months ago that she is color blind. I'm not exactly sure how long it has been, but I'm sure it wasn't always there. There are no other visible signs and she is healthy. Is this unusual? Aren't you born with it, or can it come up with a serious illness?
Most of the time, when patients refer to color blindness they are actually referring to color deficiency; true color blindness is very rare indeed. You are correct in your belief that color deficiencies are usually congenital, but they can also be acquired. It is worth noting, however, that it is not unusual for a congenital color deficiency to go undiagnosed until later in life. While less common than congenital color deficiency, acquired color deficiency is more likely to be associated with a serious eye condition. An Eye M.D. should be able to determine if color deficiency is congenital or acquired and evaluate for associated diseases in appropriate patients.
Answered by: David K. Coats, MD
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