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How To Tell If A Child Is Color Blind?

COLOR BLINDNESS commonly known as Color Vision Deficiency is the inability to distinguish the differences between certain colors. It is not a form of blindness at all, but a deficiency in the way you see color and is usually genetic. It affects men more than women, about 8% of men and 2% of women have color vision deficiency.

Red-green color deficiency is the most common form of color blindness. Much more rarely, a person may inherit a trait that reduces the ability to see blue and yellow hues. This blue-yellow color deficiency usually affects men and women equally.

How To Tell If A Child Is Color Blind

How Can It Occur?

In the retina, there are two types of cells that detect light: rods and cones. Rods detect only light and dark and are very sensitive to low light levels. Cone cells detect color and are concentrated near the center of your vision. There are three types of cones that see color: red, green and blue.

There are different degrees of color blindness that are:

  • Protanomaly
  • Deuteranomaly
  • Dichromacy
  • Protanopia
  • Deuteranopia
  • Tritanopia

How Does A Color-Blind Person See?

A person with color-blindness has trouble seeing red, green, blue, or mixtures of these colors. The most common type of color blindness is the red-green color deficiency where red and green appear to be the same color. Below is a chart of how a person with normal vision vs color blindness see colors.


Color blindness in a child can be tested out by spotting out the symptoms.

Spotting The Early Symptoms

The main sign of color blindness is difficulty in identifying colors. If a child is doubted of being color blind the main symptoms might be:

  • The child may use the wrong colors for objects. Example: Using purple for trees, or grey for an apple.
  • The child may turn a blind eye to the colors when working in coloring sheets.
  • The child may have continual denial of color issues.
  • The child may encounter problems in identifying red and green color pencils.
  • The child may smell food before eating.
  • The child may have an excellent sense of smell.
  • The child may have excellent night vision.
  • The child may be sensitive to bright lights.
  • The child may encounter reading issues with colored pages.
  • The child may complain that his eyes or head hurts especially if looking at something composed of red or yellow.

Color Blindness Treatment

While in some individuals the symptoms are not so severe so they go unnoticed unless detected during a routine vision check but in others, the symptoms are prominent during childhood. Temporarily, there is no cure for color blindness. But some coping strategies may help you function better in a color-oriented world. If you become aware of a color deficiency early enough in life, you may be able to counterbalance by training for one of the many careers that are not as dependent on the ability to see in a full range of colors.

Detecting color vision deficiency early also may prevent learning problems during school years because many learning materials rely heavily on color perception. If your child has a color deficiency be sure to let his teachers know so that they can help your child and give him extra attention as per needed.

There are side effects of medication that can cause color vision deficiency. In such case, the problem should resolve immediately when the cause is identified and treated. Illnesses that may cause the deficiency include diabetes, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, while drugs that may trigger the problem include digoxin and chloroquine.

Lenses For Color Blind


Some people use special lenses to intensify color perception which is available in either the contact lens or glass lens form. These types of lenses are available from a limited number of eye care practitioners. If your normal doctor cannot handle such type of lenses, ask for a referral who might be able to assist you. You also can learn ways to work around your incapability to pick out certain colors. An example would be to recognize that the red light is at the top of the traffic signal which means stop and green are at the bottom which indicates you to go.

If you have color vision deficiency or have noticed this difficulty in your child make sure you visit your doctor as soon as possible.

If you would like read similar articles related to How To Tell If A Child Is Color Blind? We recommend you browse through our Education category.


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