Color blindness also referred to as color vision deficiency (CVD), is experienced by persons who are either unable to, or have reduced ability to see color and differences in color under regular lighting and viewing conditions. A significant percentage of the population is affected by this condition, which is not as uncommon as many persons think.
There Are Different Types Of Color Vision Deficiency
The type of colors that someone has problems seeing, determines the category of color blindness in the field of Optometry. Some examples are red/green, blue/yellow or when a person can only see shades of grey and no colors at all, which is referred to as total color blindness. Among persons with this condition, over 99 percent have problems distinguishing between the colors red and green, with over 75 percent of this group having problems seeing the color green only. Blue/yellow color blindness is very rare, with persons who are not able to perceive any color at all being even more uncommon. This condition is referred to as achromatopsia.
In schools, the Ishihara test is used to scan children for color blindness. This test consists of disks which are made up of colored dots, and inside these dots are placed numbers and lines in various colors. The children are then asked if they are able to see them, to determine whether the condition exists. The tests are a useful first step and are available online, and will help identify persons who need to consult an optometrist to see if help is needed for this condition.
What do people with CVD experience?
Color blindness can be inherited and there is no existing cure for the condition. Consequently, in many cases therapy and learning coping strategies are relied on, as well as focusing on other cues to assist in color recognition. Someone with CVD will for example read traffic lights, based on the position of the light as well as other techniques used to identify color. Color blindness does not need to impede persons who experience it, and an optometrist or eye doctor can recommend solutions to assist with the more common types. In some cases corrective contact lenses are prescribed for patients to help with the condition.
The public is relatively uninformed about the condition, and persons are of the view that color blindness is indicative of persons not being able to see any colors at all. The condition though refers to the ability of persons to see the intensity of some colors, with varying degrees of severity. The removal of the word ‘blindness’ from the definition of the condition, would be the preference of many optometrists. They would rather a phrase such as ‘Color Spectrum Differentiation’ be used, as this more aptly describes the condition experienced by persons.
If you or a loved one believe that you might have color vision deficiency, please call us today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. We are committed to excellence by providing each patient with quality vision care and effective solutions. Our priority lies in the value of offering excellent service, care, and products while surrounding you with a friendly, positive and professional environment.