Achromatopsia

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Achromatopsia is a condition of the eye / visual system that results in the inability to perceive colour (i.e. it is a form of colour blindness) and is also associated with poor visual acuity.

Achromatopsia may be:

  • "Complete" (little or no function of the cone cells, hence only able to perceive black, white, and shades of grey) or
  • "Incomplete" (profound impairment of colour vision but some limited sensation of colour as opposed to simply light and dark).

Achromatopsia is hereditary and requires both parents to contribute a gene for the condition to occur. All the offspring of an achromat may carry one gene for achromatopsia but to pass it onto their children would need to have children with someone else carrying the same gene - which is unlikely in most modern mobile populations but an issue in some remote communities affected by achromatopsia.

Children considered to be at risk of achromatopsia are generally tested as soon as they are sufficiently developed to participate in appropriate tests. This is because complete (or even just substantial) colour blindness has implications for education, especially in a standard classroom environment. The child would therefore benefit from his or her teachers being aware of his or her achromatopsia and its effects on that child's visual perception.

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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