apple illustrating the diffenec between nomal vision and colour vision

Very few people are colour blind.  Most people who have problems seeing colours have a colour deficiency.  It may be trouble seeing reds, greens or blue.  A person with a colour deficiency can still see colours they just can’t see as many, and they will often confuse colours. 

Colour deficiency is a genetic disorder that is more common in men.  Approximately 8% of the male population and only 0.5% of the female population have the condition.  The reason why it is rare for females to have the condition is that both parents must have the colour deficient gene for a female to have colour vision problems, while in men only the mother has to have the gene. Women will often have the gene and pass it on to their son but rarely have colour vision problems.

While there are may different classifications of colour deficiencies depending on the type and severity it can be simplified into three groups.

  1. Problems seeing green.  In mild cases, green looks more like red though in severe conditions a person can’t see the difference between red and green.
  2. Problems seeing red.  In mild cases, red looks more like green but is less bright.  In severe cases both colours look the same.
  3. Problems seeing the difference between blue and green and yellow and red.  Again, in severe cases all the colours look the same.

People with colour defective vision can still see colours they just see less colours as more of the colours look the same or similar.  The chart below illustrates the differences.

Compared to normal colour vision the different groups can still see colour but the colours appear similar.

We can’t cure colour vision but in the milder forms we can help improve the vision.  Specially coated colour enhancing lenses can increase the difference between colours making it easier for a person to identify different colours.  These lenses can be made into glasses or contact lenses.  Unfortunately, the lenses don’t work for all cases, so it is important to be assessed before purchasing the lenses.

Our Colour vision clinic at Eyes on Southgate has a full range of colour vision testing equipment including the Medmont C100 colour vision assessment and the Farnsworth D-15 test.  After diagnosing the type of colour vision deficiency, we can demonstrate the appropriate lens to enhance your colour vision. If you have problems with colour vision and are interested in the enhancing lenses book an appoinment at our Colour Vision Clinic at Eyes on Southgate. Book online or call 9682 0123. Click to Book and Appointment.