Color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency, is a condition where an individual is unable to distinguish certain colors. It affects around 1 in 12 males and 1 in 200 females worldwide. The condition is usually inherited genetically, but it can also result from some underlying medical conditions or exposure to certain chemicals.
My Own Colorblind Story
I was diagnosed around the age of five; I have a red-green deficiency; I am a strong Protan. Two key stories which are told and of which I vaguely remember are.
1: My school uniform was brown. One day, I dressed myself and was really proud of myself. However, I was told by my mother to go and change my jumper, which I did not understand as my jumper and trousers matched. It worked out my jumper was red and not in fact brown! My jumper was the wrong color.
2: During an art session at school, I coloured in the grass brown and the tree red, again confusing the classics. I was lucky that the teacher noticed this and contacted my parents.
This was good finding out so young, as my parents and teachers could make some allowances and put some things into place to assist me. Like labeling the coloring pencils etc.
NOTE: There is a test which can be done by every class teacher. They could do it on the first week of school and within minutes, every child would know if they were or were not colorblind. It is a cheap test that does not require any technical knowledge from the teacher. I advocate that we should incorporate it into every school in the land. This is Neitz Color Blind Test, check it out here.
If you suspect that your child may be colorblind
If you suspect that your child may be colorblind, it’s essential to consult an eye doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Early detection and intervention can help your child cope better with the condition and overcome any challenges it may present. In the first instance, until you receive an appointment, check out the various colorblind tests we have. This will give you a good sign if your child is colourblind.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about color blindness and what steps you can take if you think your child may be colorblind.
Types of Color Blindness:
There are three primary types of color blindness, which are:
Deuteranopia: It occurs when the green-sensitive cones in the eyes are missing or not functioning correctly, making it difficult to distinguish between greens, yellows, and reds.
Protanopia: It occurs when the red-sensitive cones in the eyes are missing or not functioning correctly, making it challenging to differentiate between reds, and greens.
Tritanopia: This type of color blindness is relatively rare and affects both males and females equally. It occurs when the blue-sensitive cones in the eyes are missing or not functioning correctly, making it difficult to distinguish between blues and greens.
Causes of Color Blindness:
The most common cause of color blindness is an inherited genetic mutation that affects the photopigments in the eyes. The condition is passed down from parents to their children through the X chromosome.
Other causes of color blindness include:
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis, can damage the optic nerve and affect color vision.
- Exposure to certain chemicals, such as carbon disulfide, can cause color blindness.
- Aging can also affect color vision in some individuals.
Symptoms of Color Blindness:
The most obvious symptom of color blindness is difficulty distinguishing between certain colors. However, some other signs and symptoms of color blindness may include:
- Difficulty reading colored text or charts
- Difficulty identifying colored signs and symbols
- Difficulty matching colors in clothes or other objects
- Confusing colors, especially those that are similar, such as blue and purple or red and green.
- Missing significant social semiotics – Like red for danger etc.
Diagnosis of Color Blindness:
If you suspect that your child may be colorblind, the first step is to consult an eye doctor or an optometrist, optician. They will conduct a series of tests to determine if your child has color blindness.
The most common test used to diagnose color blindness is the Ishihara color plate test. This test involves showing your child a series of plates with dots of various colors and asking them to identify the numbers or shapes hidden in the dots. You can do most of the colorblind tests online here.
Treatment for Color Blindness:
Unfortunately, there is no cure for color blindness. However, there are some steps you can take to help your child cope with the condition and overcome any challenges it may present.
Some strategies that may be helpful include:
- Identifying that they are colorblind is the first step, so they understand why things are different.
- Labeling colors to help your child learn to distinguish them.
- Providing color-coded charts and maps to help your child navigate and understand the world around them.
- Using color contrast to help your child differentiate between colors, such as using white or black letters on a colored background.
- Encouraging your child to use other cues besides color to identify objects, such as shape, texture, or position.
- Teaching your child to memorize the order of traffic lights, which can be helpful when driving or crossing the street.
- Providing your child with colorblind glasses, which can enhance color perception for some individuals.
- Installing color blind software Windows, colorblind software Mac and color blind chrome extension to help them navigate the online worlds.
In conclusion : I Think My Child Is Color Blind – What Should I Do?
Check out our online tests, get an understanding of what colour deficiency is in play. Then contact an eyes specialist. As a 40 plus year old with a strong Protan deficiency, I can say that life with colorblindness is just as rich as life without it. I paint, I create, and I used the tools needed to interact in this color first world.