Color Blindness - Topic Overview
How is color blindness diagnosed?
how well you recognize different colors.
- In one type of test, you look at sets of
colored dots and try to find a pattern in them, such as a letter or number. The
patterns you see help your doctor know which colors you have trouble with.
- In another type of test, you arrange colored chips in order
according to how similar the colors are. People with color vision problems
cannot arrange the colored chips correctly.
Because a color vision problem can
have a big impact on a person's life, it is important to detect the problem as
early as possible. In children, color vision problems can affect learning
abilities and reading development. And color vision problems may limit career choices that require you to tell colors apart. Most experts
recommend eye exams for children between ages 3 and 5. Vision screening is
recommended for all children at least once before entering school, preferably
between the ages of 3 and 4.
How is it treated?
Inherited color vision problems
cannot be treated or corrected.
For the most common type of color blindness—red-green color deficiency—no treatment is needed, because you function normally. You may not be aware that you do not see colors the way they are seen by others.
Some acquired color vision
problems can be treated, depending on the cause. For example, if a cataract is
causing a problem with color vision, surgery to remove the cataract may restore
normal color vision.
You can find ways to help make up for a color
vision problem, such as:
- Wearing colored contact lenses. These may help you see differences between colors. But these lenses don't
provide normal color vision and can distort objects.
- Wearing glasses that block glare. People with severe
color vision problems can see differences between colors better when there is
less glare and brightness.
- Learning to look for cues like brightness or location, rather than colors. For example, you can learn the
order of the three colored lights on a traffic signal.