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Can I have laser eye surgery even though I'm colour blind?

Published on 18th January 2011

Colour blindness is a reduced ability to see colours that others can see. There is no constraint in having eye laser surgery if you are colour blind as it does not affect the condition - much like wearing contact lenses or glasses.

Colour blindness is normally inherited from your parents. There are three types of inherited colour blindness which can be tested for.

In the retina in your eyes you have two kinds of light cells: rod cells are active in low light and cones which are active in day light. There are three types of cones which contain different pigment which become active when they absorb light.

These cones are sensitive to red, blue and green colours. When the cones do not work properly or do not have the right combination your brain doesn't get the right signal about what colour you are seeing.


All eye surgical procedures carry a level of risk including not obtaining the desired outcome, through to varying levels of visual loss. Your eye surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits, including ones specific to your circumstances, at the time of your pre-operative consultation.