Top Facts About Colorblindness

Posted on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 by Dr. Thomas Marvelli

Colorblindness is also known as Color Vision Deficiency, or CVD. Vision is normal in clarity, but lacking in red, green and blue. Complete monochromacy is extremely rare, wherein a person would see exclusively in grey shades.

FAQs About Colorblindness

  • Colorblindness is predominately genetic, inherited from the DNA of the mother. It us generally present from birth.
  • Diseases like Multiple Sclerosis or diabetes can cause an onset of CVD later in life, regardless of genetics.
  • Boys are more likely than girls to suffer from CVD. One in 12 men and 1 in 200 women worldwide are colorblind.
  • There is no cure for CVD, though some treatments are being researched, including the wearing of one contact lens, tinted glasses, and even sounds to represent certain colors.

One popular method of testing for CVD is the Ishihara color test. Plates of colored dots with a number or letter in a contrasting color in the center are used to diagnose red-green colorblindness. This test is generally given to older children and adults who know all their numbers and letters.

Children with colorblindness can seem very picky about their food. While mom and dad might be enjoying a delicious, vibrant plate of vegetables, they may not understand that their child sees things in shades of grey and moldy green. Not very appealing.

In North America, traffic lights are consistent with Red/Yellow/Green reading from top to bottom or left to right (depending on shape and orientation of light), in order to facilitate drivers who suffer from colorblindness. Other countries are less consistent, and places like Romania can refuse to grand driving permits to colorblind individuals on the basis that they may misread lights and signage.

The United States Armed Forces tests for colorblindness using the Farnsworth Lantern Test. The strongest 30% of those tested, whose CVD is not overly severe, are allowed to pass.

Those with CVD are often careful in their style of dress, sticking to neutral tones and clothing that can be easily paired without a potentially embarrassing clash. Annual color trends are often ignored, or at the very least facilitated by a trusted friend or personal shopper.

Colorblindness is a common condition but it by no means should prevent anyone from living a normal, productive life. For any other questions or for more serious eye problems, contact Marvel Eye Center at any of our three locations in Fort Worth!

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