Colour vision assessment

Colour vision assessment involves the use of various tests conducted by the optometrist to investigate the eyes ability to perceive and differentiate colours. The most common test used is the Ishihara Colour Test. This test involves viewing patterns of coloured dots which form numbers visible to individuals with normal colour vision, but are difficult or impossible for people with colour vision defects to identify.

Colour vision defects can be inherited genetically or acquired at any stage of life as a result of problems in the visual system. Inherited colour vision defects are carried by mothers and passed on to their sons. Inherited red/green colour defects are the most common colour vision problem and are found in around 8% of the male population (1 in every 12 males). Around 1 in 200 women are mildly affected by colour vision defects. Blue/yellow defects are very rarely inherited and are much more commonly acquired as a result of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and optic nerve disease.

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