Colour blindness is (usually) an inherited condition affecting people’s ability to perceive colours. It is caused by ‘faulty’ gene-sequencing in the DNA of the X-chromosome. Colour vision deficiency (CVD) can have a substantial impact on children and young people’s learning. Here we discuss how CVD can affect children in particular and the need for routine check-ups.
There are 3 types of cone cells in our retinas. Each type is responsible for detecting either red, green or blue light. In colour blindness the faulty sequencing means one type is unable to decipher light wavelengths correctly. Consequently the brain receives incorrect information and cannot properly interpret colour, so someone with CVD is not able to distinguish between colours normally. There are rare forms of colour vision deficiency, such as blue blindness and monochromacy, but red and green colour deficiency is very common.
In schools, colour is an important tool, but for colour blind students it can be a nightmare—undermining confidence, encouraging basic errors, making them slower to follow instructions, and causing frustration and even anger. When children start school they are asked to describe the big brown dog, fill in colouring sheets and sing songs about the rainbow. If children do not understand some of what is being said, they cannot learn to full capacity. As they progress, CVD pupils must interpret coloured maps and graphs. Colour is used to highlight information in Science, Art, Math, Food Technology, IT, Economics, even in languages/ History/English, and especially in sport. While colour blind children can learn to identify colours through their hue and saturation they cannot see what others do. So CVD students are at a disadvantage when compared to their colour normal peers who instantly and automatically know the colour of objects and information.
The early indicators of colour blindness are found hidden in the daily life of children and are hidden due to many reasons. All one has to do is to keep a close eye out for them. Let us help you with identifying and outlining few sings that serve as an early indicator in identifying colour blindness in children:
1. A quick look at their worksheets, drawings, diagrams will indicate the use of inappropriate colours.
2. Trouble with playing and keeping up with certain sports such as carom where they find trouble in identifying the queen which is red in colour and is surrounded by black and white coins. Or while playing cricket where it turns out to be difficult to decipher the colour of the red ball when it is far or near the ground.
3. Difficulty in distinguishing between green and red flowers or identifying traffic lights is also a common indicator amongst children.
4. You can also find signs in the behavior of the children when you see that there is resistance, unwillingness or inability towards playing games and they are consistently holding back in participating in such tasks where team colours clash or balls, line markings etc. disappear.
5. Children suffering from colour blindness would take extra time to process information which results into slow, distracted and disruptive behavior.
However, we would like to reiterate that is not necessary that your child is colour blind even if he does show one or more of the above mentioned indicators and symptoms, but it is always better to be sure. Thus, getting children tested for colour blindness is always advisable and it is a step in the right direction. It is also very important for the test methods to be accurate – We at Sanjeevan – For Perfect Eyesight have every internationally known colour blindness tests in our clinic right from the basic Ishihara to the latest in technology i.e the CAD (Colour Assessment and Diagnosis) test. Thus we provide a very detailed and comprehensive report for precise diagnosis of colour vision deficiency in every patient and would be an ideal option for getting your child’s colour vision tested.