Seeing Beyond: Exploring How to Check Colour Vision.

Explore the world of color with our comprehensive guide to check color vision and color vision deficiency tests like Ishihara. Discover the importance of these tests in unlocking a vibrant spectrum.


Color vision deficiency, also known as color blindness, is the decreased ability to see color or differences in color. It affects a significant percentage of the population worldwide. While complete color blindness is rare, red-green color deficiency is the most prevalent form. Detecting color vision deficiency is important to adapt and make accommodations when needed. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding color vision, methods to test for deficiencies, the role of testing, a specific test method, and how to create useful optics diagrams.

In this article
  1. What is Color Vision?
  2. How to Check Color Vision?
  3. Role of Colour Vision Deficiency Test
  4. Simplify Your Vision Testing Experience With EdrawMax
  5. Conclusion

Part 1. What is Color Vision?

Normal color vision relies on specialized photoreceptor cells in the retina called cones. Three types of cones are each sensitive to different wavelengths of light. This allows the cones to be stimulated by red, blue, or green light. The cones work together to detect subtle color variations. When one or more cone types are absent or not functioning correctly, this results in color vision deficiency.

The most common deficiencies involve red-green color blindness. This is an X-linked genetic disorder that is more prevalent in males. With red-green deficiency, the red or green cones are abnormal. This makes it difficult to distinguish between red, green, brown, and variations of these colors. Complete color blindness, or achromatopsia, is rare. This extreme case results from a complete lack of cone cell function.

Part 2. How to Check Color Vision?

check colour vision

There are several methods available to test color vision abilities. These screening tests can quickly assess if further evaluation is warranted. Here are some of the most utilized options:

  • Pseudoisochromatic plate tests use colored dot patterns that form numbers or shapes. The Ishihara color plates are the most widely recognized version. Those with normal color vision can discern the correct number or shape.
  • Lantern tests rely on discriminating the colors of illuminated lanterns at a distance. This tests color perception under low light conditions.
  • Anomaloscopy examines color-matching abilities by adjusting ratios of red/green or blue/yellow light. The Nagel anomaloscope is commonly used.
  • Digital color assessment uses computer screens and specialized software for more controlled color discrimination testing.

Part 3. Role of Colour Vision Deficiency Test

Testing for color blindness serves many important purposes:

  1. Screens for congenital deficiencies - Testing during annual eye exams or school screenings identifies deficiencies early on. Early detection allows the implementation of adaptations and assistance.
  2. Diagnoses acquired deficiencies - Testing those with symptoms suggesting new onset color blindness distinguishes acquired from congenital causes. This guides proper treatment.
  3. Monitors conditions - Periodic retesting tracks changes in color vision that may indicate the progression of eye disease.
  4. Evaluate treatment efficacy - Testing before and after treatment judges if interventions improve color discrimination.
  5. Provides classification - Comprehensive testing characterizes the type and severity of deficiency. This information aids in advising assistive strategies and tools.

Part 4. Simplify Your Vision Testing Experience With EdrawMax

The Ishihara color vision test is one of the most widely recognized tools for screening red-green color deficiencies. It was developed in 1917 by Dr. Shinobu Ishihara, a Japanese ophthalmologist. Here is an overview:

  • Method - Consists of 38 circular plates depicting colored dot patterns that form a number or shape visible to those with normal color vision.
  • Administration - Plates are shown one at a time. Subjects identify the number or shape they see. This is done under daylight or special lamp illumination.
  • Scoring - The number of incorrect responses informs whether normal color vision is present or if further evaluation is warranted.
  • Interpretation - While very useful for initial screening, the Ishihara test alone cannot specify the type or severity of color blindness. Individual analysis by an eye care professional is recommended.
  • Limitations - Because it only tests red-green discrimination, other color vision abnormalities may be missed. Also, very young children may lack the cognitive ability to perform the test.

EdrawMax diagramming software offers tools to create clear and detailed optics diagrams for vision testing purposes.

Benefits of EdrawMax include:

  • Intuitive interface - Easy to navigate and master even for new users. No prior design experience is needed.
  • Diverse optics symbol libraries - Tons of premade symbols for lenses, prisms, light sources, detectors, and more to accurately depict optical systems.
  • Customization options - All symbols and elements can be formatted, colored, and arranged to suit specific needs.
  • Collaboration-friendly - Share vision testing optics diagrams with colleagues for feedback and proposals.
  • Multiple export formats - Seamlessly publish diagrams to Word, PDF, image files, PowerPoint, Excel, and more.
  • Affordable pricing - Budget-friendly plans available to equip any organization.

Follow these simple steps to create eye-catching optics diagrams with EdrawMax:

Step 1: Download and install EdrawMax on your device. Launch EdrawMax. Open a new document and select the optics diagram category.

edrawmax dashboard

Step 2: Drag and drop symbols onto the canvas like light sources, lenses, prisms, and slit apertures.

Use the alignment grid and snap-to-grid functions to neatly organize symbols.

optics diagram in edrawmax

Step 3: Add text descriptions, labels, and annotations using the text tools.

add text and symbols

Step 4: Customize colors, lines, fills, and effects through the formatting panels.

format colors

Step 5: Save your completed optics diagram in your desired file format.

export and save


Accurately evaluating color vision is important for determining congenital deficiencies, guiding occupational roles, and monitoring eye health. Screening tests like the classic Ishihara plates provide rapid assessment, while more advanced diagnostics characterize the type and severity of color blindness.

Creating explanatory optics diagrams is made simple with EdrawMax software. Implementing the proper color vision testing and documentation helps ensure adequate adaptations are made for those with deficiencies.

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Edraw Team
Edraw Team Apr 03, 24
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