When you have a comprehensive eye exam, one of the tests you may receive is a color blindness test. Color blindness is a complicated condition. It is more than simply not seeing a color or colors. You could even have color blindness or weakness without realizing it. Here is more about color blindness and how your optometrist tests for it.
What Is Color Blindness?
Color blindness is the inability or decreased ability to perceive a certain color or color group. Your eyes have structures called rods and cones. Rods help detect light but do not detect colors. Cones detect certain types of light wavelengths. The brain interprets these wavelengths as colors. When something is wrong with some or all of your cones, you could have color blindness or a deficiency.
What Are Common Types of Color Blindness?
While you can be completely color blind, you are more likely to only have a problem with a few colors. The most common types of color blindness are red-green and yellow-blue color blindness. With this problem, your eye will have trouble distinguishing between those groups of colors. Red or orange colors, for example, may appear to be brown or green. Blue-yellow color blindness might make blue appear weaker and yellow to be pinkish.
How Does the Optometrist Check for Color Blindness?
Most optometrists check for color blindness, first, with simple visual tests. One of the most common is the Ishihara Plate Test. With this test, the optometrist shows you a picture with different color dots. In the picture is a number or an object. People with normal vision will have little problem seeing the figures in the sea of dots. However, someone with color blindness or weakness may have difficulty. Another test is where the optometrist asks you to arrange certain objects in order of shade.
Is a Cure Available For Color Blindness?
Currently, there is no cure for color blindness. If medication or a physical eye condition is the cause, then addressing those issues may restore some of your color vision. You can get glasses to help you better detect certain colors, but you won't perceive those colors normally. You may also be able to use technology and coping techniques to help you distinguish between colors.
If you suspect you have color blindness, then see your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. Color blindness generally doesn't cause serious problems. But it can cause difficulties in certain circumstances. Being aware of the problem is the first step in finding ways to cope with the issue. Contact an optometrist for more information about eye exams.