Color Blindness In Children - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Image: iStock

Does your child have problems differentiating between two distinct colors? Does he often confuse brown and red, and blue and green? If you nodded along, your child might be suffering from color blindness. Before you consult your doctor, read our post below and learn more about color blindness and how it affects children!

What Is Color Blindness?

Color blindness is the reduced ability of your child’s vision when he is unable to distinguish between certain colors. The condition usually occurs due to genetic reasons and is more widespread among boys than girls.

Color blind children cannot distinguish between certain shades of colors such as red, green, yellow and blue. Factors that trigger color blindness are eye diseases, heredity, and intake of harmful medications (1)

[ Read: Eye Care Tips For Kids ]

Causes Of Color Blindness In Children:

When the light spectrum falls upon the retina of your child, he finds difficult to distinguish the primary colors like red, blue and green. As the light enters through your child’s cornea and passes through the jelly-like tissue and lens of his eye and reaches the color-sensitive cells situated at the back of the retina.

The chemicals present in the cones help your child distinguish distinct colors and sends the information through the optic nerve to the brain. When your child’s eyes are normal, he can clearly distinguish the bright colors. But when the cones contain fewer amounts of light-sensitive chemicals, your child cannot clearly identify the primary colors.

Here are some of the other factors that cause color blindness in children:

1. Hereditary Issues:

Inherited color blindness mostly occurs in male children than the female ones. Such children cannot distinguish some of the basic colors like red, green, blue, and yellow. Your child can inherit a mild, moderate or severe degree of vision imparity from the parents. Inherited color blindness occurs in both the eyes, but the severity of the problem doesn’t change.

2. Diseases:

Some health disorders can lead to color blindness in children. Such diseases include diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, leukemia, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Such disorders affect either eye, and the eye becomes sensitive to bright colors. However, if the doctor diagnoses the disease in the early stages, your child recovers his normal vision.

3. Medications:

The intake of certain drugs affects the vision of your growing kid. High doses of certain medications for diseases like high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, heart problems, nervous disorders, and infections can trigger adverse effects in your child’s vision.

4. Aging:

With increasing age, the problem becomes worse, and your child finds extremely difficult to distinguish primary colors.

5. Chemicals:

Exposure to harsh chemicals like including carbon disulfide and strong fertilizers effectively degrades your child’s normal vision (2).

[ Read: Water Eyes In Children ]

Symptoms Of Color Blindness In Children:

Some of the common symptoms of color blindness your child experiences in the early stages are:

  • Inability to distinguish some of the primary colors after your child reaches the age of 4 years and above.
  • Not able to separate things by their shades.
  • Rapid eye movement (in rare cases)
  • Color blindness does not alter the sharpness of your child’s vision. The symptoms are often so mild that you may not understand that your child is a victim of color blindness.

You only get to know about your child’s vision problems when he grows and learns about different colors. When you instruct him to pick certain objects of a specific color, he cannot do so. In such a scenario, you can get a hint about your child’s vision problem (3).

Diagnosing Color Blindness In Children:

When your child is not able to distinguish certain colors, it is advisable to consult the eye specialist immediately. The doctor closely examines your child’s eyes and shows him certain dotted pictures. If your child suffers from color blindness, he cannot identify the patterns or the colors in the picture.

The medical test used to diagnose color blindness in child is the color vision test. The test checks the ability of your child’s eyes to distinguish between distinct colors.

How the doctor performs the color vision test:

  • The doctor makes your child sit in a room that consists of regular lights.
  • The doctor places cards comprising of colored dot patterns in front of your child. Doctors utilize the special cards known as Ishihara plates.
  • The dots appear in such a fashion that either they form a number, alphabet or symbol. Your child has to identify the symbol.
  • Your child has to cover his eyes alternately and identify the pattern of the card.
  • The doctor also asks your child to distinguish the different colors present in the card (4).

[ Read: Dark Circles Under Eyes In Children ]

Treating Color Blindness In Children:

Doctors cannot treat inherited color blindness with any surgical methods or medications. However, if the cause of color blindness is due to certain medications or diseases, the doctor notes such factors. For instance, if your child suffers from certain diseases, the first step of recovery is through proper treatment of that particular health ailment.

Here are some of the common methods that doctors use for the treatment of color blindness:

  • Wearing colored contact lenses: The doctor asks your child to wear the colored contact lenses so that he can easily distinguish the primary colors. However, these lenses can distort objects, and the normal vision gets hampered.
  • Wearing glare-blocking glasses: Children with severe color blindness need to wear this particular glass. As a result, they can distinguish the colors easily when the glare is less (5).

Tips To Help Your Color Blind Child Deal With The Problem:

Color blindness makes it difficult for your growing child to concentrate on his educational activity. Inability to distinguish primary colors makes your child suffer from low self-esteem and poor schoolwork.

Here are some of the ways in which you can boost your child’s morale and help him deal with the problem:

  • Take your child for routine eye checkups, so that the doctor diagnoses the severity of the disease and suggests suitable curative measures.
  • If your child is color blind due to certain medications or chemicals, minimize your child’s exposure to such harsh things.
  • Inform the child’s teacher and your close family member about your child’s vision issues. It helps the concerned people deal with your child accordingly.

Was your child a victim of color blindness? How did you deal with your child’s vision problems? Did the doctor suggest any effective treatment procedures? Was it helpful? Share your story with felow mommies below!

Recommended Articles:

Was this information helpful?