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Xanthopsia is a color vision deficiency in which there is a dominantly yellow bias in vision due to a yellowing of the optical media of the eye. The most common causes are digoxin's inhibitory action on the sodium pump, and the development of cataracts which can cause a yellow filtering effect.

It has been suggested that Van Gogh contracted Xanthopsia as a result of digoxin consumption. Digoxin is a medication derived from digitalis and used to treat various heart conditions. This theory claims Xanthopsia as the cause of the yellow tinting exhibited by many of his works.[1]

Xanthopsia is also a rare side-effect of jaundice, in which bilirubin may be deposited into the eye in sufficient quantity to produce a yellow tint to the vision.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vincent van Gogh". Psych.ucalgary.ca. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  2. ^ Weatherall, D. J.; Ledingham, J. G. G.; Warrell, D. A. (1996). Oxford Textbook of Medicine. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2055.

External links[edit]


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