Colour vision deficiency is the inability to distinguish certain shades of colour. Most common colour deficiency is a red-green deficiency. The colour reds, oranges, yellows, browns and greens may all appear to be similar but with different brightness and saturation. Colour blindness is a usually a genetic condition (you are born with it). Red/green and blue colour blindness is usually passed down from your parents. Some people also acquire the condition as a result of long-standing diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, some liver diseases and eye diseases.
The effects of colour vision deficiency can be mild, moderate or severe depending upon the defect. If you have inherited colour blindness your condition will stay the same throughout your life, it won’t get any better or worse.
There’s currently no cure for inherited colour vision deficiency because it’s not possible to repair or replace the cone cells in the retina. Colour vision deficiency doesn’t cause any long-term health problems, so treatment isn’t essential for you to be able to lead a normal, healthy life.
If your colour vision deficiency is caused by a pre-existing health condition or from taking a certain type of medication, it may be possible to improve your symptoms by treating the underlying condition or by using an alternative medication.
Most people with colour vision deficiency learn to adapt to the condition, and it’s usually possible to find ways to compensate for your difficulty with colours. However having colour vision deficiency could affect a child’s career choice. This is because certain jobs, such as pilots, train drivers, electricians and air traffic controllers, require accurate colour recognition.
If your child has colour vision deficiency, they may struggle at school unless the teacher is made aware of the problem. Many learning materials are colour coded and your child may have difficulty if their learning environment isn’t adapted to their specific needs.
There is currently no treatment for inherited colour blindness. Colour filters or contact lenses can be used in some situations to enhance the brightness between some colours. Call us for an appointment to test for colour deficiency or if you need a pair of prescribed colour filters.