Color Blindness or color vision deficiency causes a person to have difficulty distinguishing between some colors, such as between red and green, or between blue and yellow. If you have color blindness, you will still have the ability to see color. However, your perception of color will be different from people with normal vision. This perception can create frustrations and problems when it comes to doing daily tasks that rely on knowing what color certain things are.
Statistics regarding Color Blindness
- About 4% of the population has some form of color blindness.
- Color blindness affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women.
- About 8% of all men suffer from color blindness.
- About 0.5% of all women suffer from color blindness.
- Red-green color blindness is the most commonly found type of color blindness.
- Color blindness is inherited in the majority of cases. However, it can be acquired as a result of trauma, an accident, aging, drug or alcohol abuse, medication side effects, or chemical use.
- There is no cure for color blindness.
What are the symptoms for color blindness?
There are some ways to recognize that you have color blindness.
- If a person has trouble distinguishing between red and green.
- If a person has trouble distinguishing between blue and yellow.
- If a person has an inability to distinguish between different shades of specific colors.
- If people frequently tell you the color you are seeing is not incorrect.
A vision test conducted by a qualified optometrist can quickly diagnose color blindness.
Difficulties faced by People with Color Blindness
Sight is the most critical sense. 90% of all information is received by sight, 5% by hearing, 2% by touch, 2% by taste and, 1% by smell.
The lack of information received due to color blindness slows down or prevents comprehension. The lack of understanding creates a slower reaction time to the information and generally lowers a person’s quality of life.
Naming color comes very naturally to most people and doesn’t require a lot of thought. You look at, and you know what color it is. Shades of color can be easily identified. Robin’s egg blue is different than navy blue. Tomato red is different than cherry red. The color-blind person, however, is not that good at naming the color. Because of their limited color spectrum, colors tend to be closer to each other. First, you have to decide what category a color belongs to: red, yellow, green, blue, black, or white. What do you do with colors like orange or purple or pink?
- Home Life
Just getting dressed in the morning and choosing colors that match can pose a problem for someone with color blindness.
Cooking can be complicated for someone with a color vision deficiency. If you are unable to differentiate between colors, it can be challenging to determine when some foods are cooked enough or when fruits are ripe.
People with color blindness are often sensitive to bright lights, which are now used in almost every electrical device.
People with color blindness have a hard time interpreting weather forecasts because the weather maps on TV still use shades of blue, green, and brown.
- Work Life
Some professions may not be an option for someone who has a color vision deficiency as they depend on accurately perceiving color.
People with color blindness are often sensitive to bright lights, which are now used in almost every electrical device.
Most graphs, charts, maps, computer coding, medical coding, navigation instrument coding is all done by color.
- Public Life
Differentiating between the red and green colors used in traffic lights for a person that is color blind can be challenging. There is the risk of getting into an accident due to misinterpreting the red stoplight and green go light.
If you suffer color blindness, you can have difficulty knowing if you are getting a sunburn until it is too late because you can’t see the redness in your skin.
Many public restrooms use color to tell a person whether the bathroom stall is vacant (green) or occupied (red).
Strategies for People with a Color Vision Deficiency
No cure for color blindness is available, so it’s essential to come up with strategies for dealing with this vision deficiency. Most people can adapt to color blindness by training to compensate for color confusion, using visual aids, and technology.
- Managing Your Home and Personal Care with Color Blindness
Electronics, Lighting, Safety
- Use high-quality lighting in your home and at work to help distinguish between colors. Bright, natural light is best.
- Phone apps have been developed to help you identify colors on electronic devices.
- You can adjust settings on your computer and other digital devices to use sounds or other visual cues to make them easier to use.
- Replace color-coded switches with voice-activated ones or use tactile labeling to identify switches.
- Talking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can keep people with color blindness safe.
- Samsung’s See Colors app can be used with any Samsung Galaxy 6 mobile phone and a Samsung QLED TV screen to allow people with a color vision deficit t see colors by recalibrating the color settings.
- Several video games have color-blind settings such as:
Call of Duty
Faster Than Light
League of Legends
World of Warcraft
- Many board games, dice games, and card games are available for people with a color vision deficit such as:
Apples to Apples Jr.
Harry Potter: Hogwart’s Battle
Tic Tac Toe
- Label your clothes with tactile buttons of various shapes to help identify colors and make matching easier. Ask family and friends for help when it comes to shopping for clothes.
- Label your clothing with talking washable laundry labels where you record the color, pattern, and care instructions for every clothing article down to your socks and attach the tag to the clothing.
- Huevue is a mobile phone app that helps people with color vision deficiency identify, match, and coordinate colors.
Food Choice, Storage & Cooking
- A person can identify fruits and vegetables by their texture, weight, smell, and other identifying characteristics than color. Broccoli has a large, round grainy bud texture at the top of long, thick stalks and is usually sold in bunches. Carrots are long and cone-shaped with feathery stems at the top, which are also sold in bundles.
- Use a digital cooking thermometer and a chart that shows the right temperature for cooking different meats.
- Tactile self-adhesive shaped stickers can identify the function of buttons on the microwave, oven, refrigerator, or any appliance.
You’ll have to rely on memorizing the position of lights, not the color. For example, traffic lights go top to bottom, so:
- The top light means to stop.
- The middle light means to be cautious because the light is about to change.
- The bottom light means to go.
- GPS devices can narrate directions for anywhere you want to go.
Many new model cars have built-in automated smart safety features such as:
- Adaptive cruise control monitors and keeps your vehicle at a safe distance from vehicles in front of you.
- Automated braking systems engage and slow the car down when you get too close to the vehicle in front of you.
- Lane assist verbally alerts you and causes the steering wheel to pull your car back into the lane when it departs and senses another vehicle beside you.
- Electronic stability control slows a specific wheel down to keep turning under control.
- Living with color blindness on the job
- Use a bright, natural anti-glare light or lamp.
- Adjust settings on your computer and phone to use sounds or shapes instead of colors for actions on the menus. For example, if set an Apple computer on the “Differentiate without colors” setting, you will get colors with shapes to guide you instead of just the colors.
- Use computer and smartphone applications to make their use more comfortable. On an iOS 10 or later iPhone, color filters can help you tell the difference between colors. Android phones running version 5.0 or higher offer a color correction setting that is based on what colors you’re able to see.
- Visolve is a software tool that changes the colors of the computer display into colors that can be seen by people with various forms of color vision deficiency. It can also filter colors.
- A person with a color vision deficiency can’t know what the colors are of characters, lines, or background on the PC screen. The WhatColor app displays the magnified area around the mouse cursor for the user to choose a pixel to inspect its color.
- The BenQ BL2480T monitor has build-in Eye Care technology to improve the colors on your screen. Next to other features, A Color Weakness mode is present, especially for the colorblind.
- Chromatic Glass is a color vision assistance tool for persons who have difficulty recognizing specific colors or perceiving differences between specific color pairs due to a color vision deficiency. The app supports the three primary color vision types — Protan, Deutan, and Tritan.
- Filing systems can be set up with self-stick labels that can be read by Talking Reader Pens.
- Voice-activated note-takers and voice recorders eliminate the need to write down anything for quick access.
- “Screen reading” software programs – These valuable programs read what is on the computer screen.
While there are no national rules or international standards concerning color vision deficiency, jobs that require color matching or color recognition as a central component of the job may be out of reach for those people that have color blindness. Some color-blind people remain on the same career path they’ve always desired despite their deficiency in vision. Others with a color vision deficiency seek jobs that don’t rely on accurately seeing colors. There are numerous occupations for those who are colorblind, including:
- Bank tellers, loan officers, mortgage servicers
- Insurance Agents
- Civil Engineers
- Child care assistants
- Social workers
- Ministers or Priests
- Travel agents
- Fitness Trainers
Helping a child cope with color blindness
Children with a color vision deficiency may have difficulty in school, as so much of what they are taught is based on color.
Parents of a color-blind child must work with the child’s teacher for help when it comes to color recognition. They have trouble learning their colors, completing color-by-number assignments, understanding color-coded graphs, and maps, etc. In addition, they may be ridiculed and embarrassed for having trouble with these simple assignments.
It is hard to color grass the correct color when a child can’t pick out the green crayon. It helps for a parent to talk to the teacher and explain how your child perceives color. You should ask teachers to:
- Prepare handouts that use only black ink on white papers.
- Label paints and other art supplies with primary names. “Forest” isn’t useful; use “dark green” instead.
- Let your child sit in front with a good view of the whiteboard.
- Allow the child to use labels or shapes for work that relies on color, like a “red triangle” instead of just “red.”
- Write with only black marker on a whiteboard.
Tools that can help children with a color vision deficiency:
- Scented Colored Markers
- Sensory Touch and Feel Color Boards
- Tactile Shape and Color Games
- Matching Games
While there are no cures or immediate treatments for color blindness, people with the condition can use several aids to make life easier.
- More and more computer and mobile phone applications are on the market to assist people in identifying and distinguishing color.
- Individuals can accommodate their condition by learning cues like brightness or location for colored objects and signs.
- Digital or voice-activated devices can help individuals with color blindness complete typical household and work-related tasks.
Evidence shows that tinted or anti-glare glasses or contacts can help people with certain types of color blindness distinguish between colors. People with severe color vision problems can see differences between colors better when there are less glare and brightness.
Dr. Thomas Azman has treated people who suffer from red-green color blindness for over 20 years with his proprietary ColorCorrection System™. The system can change the wavelength of each color going into one or both eyes using eyeglasses or soft contact lenses. With an astonishing 100 percent success rate, Dr. Azman has helped people with colorblindness all over the world to pass many types of pseudoisochromatic plate tests.
Aren’t you ready to see the world in color? Contact us for treatment by calling (443) 470-9844, or filling out our contact form.