Color blindness is not actually a form of blindness; it is a deficiency in how a person sees color. People with color blindness have a hard time distinguishing between certain colors, including red and green, and blue and yellow.
Color blindness is hereditary, but it can also be acquired from eye diseases, toxins, and drugs. Individuals with mild color blindness may never even realize that they have a problem seeing colors. The good news is that color blindness can be detected at an early age with routine eye exams.
What is a color blindness test?
Color blindness tests are designed to detect a person's ability to distinguish colors. The tests consist of a series of color plates containing numbers or symbols hidden within a background of colored dots. Both inherited and acquired color blindness can be diagnosed with these simple screening tests. Even preschool age children can take these tests.
Reasons for color blindness testing
Color blindness tests are performed to screen school age children for color vision deficiencies and to screen job applicants for fields that require color perception (including law enforcement, truck driving, and the military).
While color blindness may seem like a harmless condition, it can cause serious problems for young children. Many learning materials in the classroom rely heavily on a child's color perception. It is important for parents and teachers to be aware of a child's color blindness so they can learn to plan lessons and homework accordingly.
Performing color blindness tests
Color blindness testing is a relatively straightforward process. The tests simply check a person's ability to distinguish colors. One of the most popular tests is the Ishihara color test, which is a series of images with colored spots. In each image, there is a figure or number embedded within the spots in a slightly different color. People with normal color perception can easily identify the number.
Testing is slightly different for young children. Rather than numbers, color blindness tests for children feature symbols and shapes like squares and circles.
If you are concerned that you or your child is having problems seeing colors properly, schedule a color blindness test.