8 Fascinating GIFs That Show What Color-Blindness Really Feels Like

GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
If you've never experienced color-blindness yourself, it's pretty hard to imagine what it might be like. Turns out, it's much more complicated than just seeing the world in black and white.

"Color-blindness should best be thought of as looking through the world with a colored lens that blunts and washes out 'true' color perception," says Barrett Katz, M.D., M.B.A., faculty attending at the Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Montefiore Health System. "It is not blindness at all, but rather a deficiency in the manner in which those affected see color and distinguish between colors."

More often not, Dr. Katz tells us, color-blindness is genetic, though it can sometimes be caused by damage to optic nerves. It's also more common in men, with around 8% of the male population affected, compared with 0.5% of the female population. Also, color-blindness isn't just one thing: There are actually several types of color-blindness that vary in their severity and in the colors affected.

Color-blindness can affect daily life by making it harder to read color-coded information such as traffic lights (or to figure out whether your outfit is cute or nah), but if you don't have it, it's tough to picture what it would be like. But thanks to a few clever GIFs from Clinic Compare, a medical consulting company based in the U.K., we might be able to understand color-blindness a little better. Ahead, check out some animations that will help you see what it's really like to experience various types of color-blindness.
1 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Blue-Blind/Tritanopia

People who experience tritanopia, or blue-blindness, lack blue cone cells — meaning that the color blue will appear green to them, and yellow will appear violet or gray.
Advertisement
2 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Blue Cone Monochromacy

Blue cone monochromacy makes it difficult for people to distinguish between colors. People with blue cone monochromacy might also have reduced visual acuity, near-sightedness, or uncontrollable eye movements (also known as nystagmus).
3 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Blue-Weak/Tritanomaly

Like tritanopia, tritanomaly affects the blue cone cells, though it causes blue to appear more green and can make it difficult to tell yellow and red from pink. This form of colorblindness is relatively mild — it's a more alleviated form of blue-yellow blindness in which colors are harder to distinguish.
4 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Green-Blind/Deuteranopia

Deuteranopia causes people to see reds as brownish-yellow and greens as beige.

5 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Green-Weak/Deuteranomaly

On the other hand, deuteranomaly causes yellow and green to appear redder and makes it harder to tell violet from blue. As you can see from the GIF, it's a relatively mild condition and doesn't interfere with daily life as much as other types of color-blindness.
6 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Monochromacy/Achromatopsia

This is the most severe type of color-blindness, and most people who suffer from it are born with it. People with complete monochromacy see the world in black, white, and gray.
7 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Red-Blind/Protanopia

With protanopia, red can appear as black, while shades of orange, yellow, and green all appear as yellow.
8 of 8
GIF: Courtesy of Clinic Compare.
Red-Weak/Protanomaly

Like deuteranomaly, protanomaly is pretty mild and tends not to interfere with daily life as much as other conditions. With protanomaly, red, orange, and yellow appear greener, and colors aren't as bright.
Advertisement