Our world is full of wonderful colors. Unfortunately, not everyone can see and appreciate the surroundings in full color because of color vision deficiency or color blindness. When a person is color blind, he or she has the inability to see colors or distinguish the differences in colors. If you have experienced any difficulty in seeing colors, it is better to take a color blind test just to be sure.
Color blindness can be a difficult thing to deal with because there are certain activities which would require you to identify colors. Being color blind means you might have trouble seeing red, green, blue, or a mixture of these colors. For instance, driving can be challenging when you encounter a traffic light. You will not be able to identify a green light from a red light. All you can do is rely on the other vehicles around you. It can also be difficult to shop for clothes, bags, or shoes, if you cannot see their true colors.
However, these are also more serious cases such as those with total color blindness. Those who have it may have visual impairment and as such, may not be able to do certain activities for safety. In addition, they may also feel uncomfortable in bright environments and may only prefer to be in the dark.
Causes of Color Blindness
Usually, people who are color blind were born with it which means it is genetic or hereditary. This happens when you do not have certain cone cells or you have them but they just do not work the way they are supposed to. But, what are these cone cells?
Cone cells are cells in the retina which is the layer at the back of our eyes which responds to light. We are born with three types of cone cells in our eyes and they are responsible for detecting colors. The three types of cone cells are red, green, and blue. People who are color blind were born with different amounts of each cone type or may be completely missing one, two, or even three.
Sometimes, color blindness can also be caused by aging, eye injury, side effects of medicines, or eye problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy.
Since color blindness can be difficult to deal with and can have a great impact on your life, it should be detected as early as possible. Although there is no treatment for it, at least a specialist can help improve a colorblind person’s vision. There are different types of color blind tests which you can even take online. However, it is still advisable to see an eye doctor or a specialist for more accurate results.
The Two Types of Color Blind Tests
There are two types of color blind tests which can detect whether there is a color vision problem and detect the deficiency and determine the type and the severity.
Screening Color Blind Test
The most common and widely used screening test is called the Ishihara Color Vision Test which is named after the Japanese ophthalmologist Shinobu Ishihara. He devised the procedure in 1917 when he also published a description of the said test.
Specialists use this type of test to deterine if patients have color vision problems. Specifically, the Ishihara test is best used for the screening of red-green color deficiencies. Eye doctors use booklets which contain 38 plates or circular patterns which is composed of many dots of different colors, size, and brightness. Those who have normal color vision will be able to see numbers within the dots. However, those who have color blindness will be unable to see any number or see a different one.
There are also other screening tests deviced by specialists and medical companies. Some can even be self-administered through an application on an Android tablet.
Quantitative Color Blind Tests
A quantitative color blind test is conducted to have a more detailed analysis of a patient’s color blindness. The most popular test of this type is the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test. It was developed in the 1940’s by Dean Farnsworth and it is designed to test the ability of patients to arrange colored chips in order according to color similarities. There should be a continuum of colors based on their gradually changing hue.
To determine the results, the colored chips are numbered on the bottom to enable scoring against a key. A person with an accurate color perception will have a close match between the test sequence of the chips that he or she has arranged and the correct sequence. As expected, those who have problems with their color vision cannot arrange the chips in the correct sequence and will have lower scores.
How to Address or Treat Color Blindness
Unfortunately, color blindness which are inherited cannot be treated or corrected. For color blindness acquired from other causes, there are ways it can be addressed or treated depending on the type or severity of the problem.
For instance, if the color blindness was caused by a cataract, it can be corrected by removing the cataract through an eye surgery. Some are also prescribed to wear contact lenses to help them see the differences in colors. However, the lenses may not necessarily provide a normal color vision. They can only help but not entirely correct the vision problem.
Those who have severe color blindness can see color differences better when they wear glasses that block glare. Eye doctors will be able to identify the glasses which will be suitable for each patient.
Being color blind can make it more difficult to do a lot of things but it should not hinder a person from living life the normal way. There are things that can be done to address vision problems and the first step to take it is to undergo a color blind test to see of there is really a problem in the first place. For better and more accurate results, consult with a specialist or an eye doctor instead of assessing and trying to correct things on your own.