Color Vision Deficiency
Color vision deficiency is the inability to distinguish certain shades of color or in more severe cases, see colors at all. The term “color blindness” is also used to describe this visual condition, but very few people are completely color blind. Many people think anyone labeled as “colorblind” only sees black and white – like watching a black and white movie or television, but in reality there are many different types and degrees of colorblindness – more correctly called color vision deficiencies.

Most people with color vision deficiency can see colors, but they have difficulty differentiating between particular shades of reds and greens (most common) or blues and yellows (less common).
People who are totally color blind can only see things as black and white or in shades of gray.
The severity of color vision deficiency can range from mild to severe depending on the cause. It will affect both eyes if it is inherited and usually just one if the cause for the deficiency is injury or illness.

According to the American Optometric Association (http://www NULL.aoa NULL.org/x4702 NULL.xml) these are some specific diseases that can affect our ability to see colors:
• diabetes
• glaucoma
• macular degeneration
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Parkinson’s disease
• multiple sclerosis
• chronic alcoholism
• leukemia
• sickle cell anemia

In the majority of cases, genetics is the predominate cause for color deficiency. About 8% of Caucasian males are born with some degree of color deficiency. Women are typically just carriers of the color deficient gene, though approximately 0.5% of women have color vision deficiency.

 
What causes the deficiencies?
Color vision is possible due to photoreceptors in the retina of the eye known as cones. These cones have light sensitive pigments that enable us to recognize color. Found in the macula, the central portion of the retina, each cone is sensitive to either red, green or blue light, which the cones recognize based upon light wavelengths.

Normally, the pigments inside the cones register differing colors and send that information through the optic nerve to the brain enabling you to distinguish countless shades of color. But if the cones lack one or more light sensitive pigments, you will be unable to see one or more of the three primary colors thereby causing a deficiency in your color perception.

The most common form of color deficiency is red-green. This does not mean that people with this deficiency cannot see these colors at all; they simply have a harder time differentiating between them. The difficulty they have in correctly identifying them depends on how dark or light the colors are.
Another form of color deficiency is blue-yellow. This is a rarer and more severe form of color vision loss than red-green since persons with blue-yellow deficiency frequently have red-green blindness too. In both cases, it is common for people with color vision deficiency to see neutral or gray areas where a particular color should appear.

 
Uptown Eye Care’s Total Eye Health Evaluation
At Uptown Eye Care color vision deficiency screening is part of our total eye health evaluation. We also use the Farnsworth D-15 dichotomous test which is commonly used to test the severity of color deficiencies. Contact Us to setup an examination.

If you would like to take a preliminary online color vision test we recommend the PseudoIsochromatic Plate Ishihara Compatible (PIP) Color Vision Test by Dr. Terrace L. Waggoner. The test below is taken from the colorvisiontesting.com (http://colorvisiontesting NULL.com) website.


This on-line color vision test consists of 8 plates taken from the PIPIC Color Vision Test 24 Plate Edition. You have 3 seconds to identify the number on each  of the plates.



What number do you see on the Demonstration Plate – Click here for the correct answer


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Everyone should have seen a 16 on the Demonstration Plate
Click here for the first test plate


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on this first test plate –
Click here for the correct answer


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 2 on the first test plate –
Click here for the second test plate


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on the second test plate –
Click here for the answer


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 5 on the second test plate –
Click here for the third test plate


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on the third test plate –
Click here for the answer


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 42
Click here for the fourth plate.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on the fourth test plate?
Click here for answer.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 7
Click here for the fifth test plate.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on the fifth test plate?
Click here for answer.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 29
Color deficient individuals may see a 70 or nothing.



Click here for the sixth test plate.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on the sixth test plate?
Click here for answer.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 6
Click here for the seventh plate.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on the seventh test plate?
Click here for the answer.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 57
A Color deficient individual may see a 35 or nothing.


Click here to see the eight test plate.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



What do you see on the eight test plate?
Click here for the correct
answer.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



You should see a 10
A Color deficient individual may see nothing.

 
 
Important Disclaimer:
Due to the fact there are so many different monitor screens displaying different colors, the accuracy of this "on-line" color vision test is limited. This webpage is for "screening" purposes only, not a "diagnosis". For a diagnosis, you should see your vision care professional and be given the complete test using all 24 plates of the "PIPIC" under controlled testing conditions and the proper lighting.  To order the complete test in book form click on the below picture. Please let the distributor know you were referred by Dr. Waggoner.

This test is from colorvisiontesting.com (http://colorvisiontesting NULL.com/ishihara NULL.htm#return%20to%20the%20top). Visit their website for more online color blindness tests.

If you were asking questions such as: Am I colorblind?, Are there different types of colorblindness?, or Is there a colorblindness test? then we hope this helped to answer some of your questions.