The complete inability to see color, known as color blindness, is a well known phenomenon to many people. Although total color blindness is a very rare condition, it is part of a larger family of conditions known as Color Vision Deficiency, which is actually quite common.
Color Vision Deficiency entails the inability of the eye to tell the difference between different shades of color. It is the more severe cases of this disorder, in which the eye is completely unable to discern any color at all, that is commonly referred to as color blindness.
Short of total color blindness, two main types of Color Vision Deficiency exist, Red-Green (which is the most common form), and Blue-Yellow.
Despite these challenges, however, there is hope. Special corrective lenses can be prescribed by your doctor to help compensate for the missing color filters in your eyes. This is called Color Vision Correction. Although it will not give you perfect color vision, it will allow you to see more colors and shades of colors, and can make colors more vivid and distinct, making these colors more easily recognizable to you.