How To Find Out Colour Blindness in Children?

Did you know, India has the highest number of colourblind populations in the world, that is 70 million?  Colour vision deficiency (CVD) or poor colour vision is the inability or decreased ability to differentiate colours under normal light. It is due to a defect in the cones of the retina. Colour blindness is mostly genetic and runs in families. Let’s delve into how to find out about colour blindness in children.

At what age is colour blindness detected?

At the age of 4, the child can be tested for colour blindness. At this age, he or she can answer the question of how he/ she sees colour.  Some schools conduct toddler colour-blind tests to identify problems with colour perception.

Types of colour blindness:

There are 3 types of colour blindness in children.

Red-green: It is the most common type of colour vision deficiency in children, in which they are not able to differentiate between shades of red and green.

Blue – yellow: In this type colours appear less bright to children. They found difficulties to make out colours like blue-yellow, or yellow-red.

Complete: It is also called achromatopsia, meaning children cannot see colour at all. It is rare and may associate with low vision, nystagmus, or amblyopia. In this type, all the colours appear Gray.

Clues for parents to take the test for colour blindness in children:

  • Early signs can be difficulty in identifying colours, particularly shades of red, green, brown, blue
  • Not able to paint with correct colours such as sky-painted green
  • Short attention span in colouring activities
  • Trouble reading and working with colour-coded worksheets
  • Difficulty in the detection of coloured objects, e.g., confusion in green, and red pencil
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Confused about food, smelling food before eating
  • Kids facing trouble while looking at the red or green colour, complaining of a headache or eye strain.

If any of the sign present and history of colour blindness on the maternal or paternal side, parents should take a colour vision deficiency test for their children.

Tests for colour blindness:

Ishihara colour vision deficiency test is a commonly performed test. To diagnose colour blindness clinically, a comprehensive eye examination is required by an eye specialist.

Schools can conduct advanced eye screening for toddlers and children, which helps spot colour vision deficiency in children.

How to help a colour-blind child in the classroom?

  • If parents notice colour vision deficiency, they should make the teachers aware of the children’s condition.
  • Teachers can help the child with learning material and can use white chalk instead coloured chalk.
  • A well-lit space for learning helps children identify the colour in mild cases.
  • A child can use specially tinted lenses for one or both eyes.
  • Teacher can instruct properly to these students while performing colour-related activities.
  • Computers or mobile phones have certain apps which can help in colour identification.

Detecting colour blindness is difficult, and sometimes gets undiagnosed. Parents and teachers can help children if they catch colour vision deficiency in toddlers or children. Colour-blind glasses can correct vision to some extent. Parents should encourage children with CVD to perform better in school with suitable learning opportunities.

Meta description: Clues for parents to find out colour-blindness in children, and tips to help a colour-blind child.

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