Understanding and Self-Testing for Color Vision Deficiency

Hello everyone! Today, we’re going to explore a topic many are curious about: color vision deficiency. This condition involves the inability to distinguish colors correctly and is divided into color blindness and color vision deficiency. In this post, we’ll delve into the causes and types of color vision deficiency and introduce a simple self-diagnosis test.

What is Color Vision Deficiency?

Color vision deficiency occurs when the cone cells in the retina do not function properly, leading to reduced ability to distinguish colors. This condition is typically congenital but can also develop later in life. Color vision deficiency is categorized into two main types:

  • Color Blindness (Achromatopsia): The complete inability to distinguish colors.
  • Color Vision Deficiency: Difficulty distinguishing specific colors.

Color vision abnormalities are conditions that make it difficult to distinguish certain colors

Causes of Color Vision Deficiency

The primary cause of color vision deficiency is genetic factors, specifically mutations in genes located on the X chromosome. This condition is more common in males. Acquired color vision deficiency can result from trauma, disease, or certain medications.

Types of Color Vision Deficiency

  1. Red-Green Color Blindness: The most common form, where distinguishing between red and green is difficult.
  2. Blue-Yellow Color Blindness: A rare form where distinguishing between blue and yellow is challenging.
  3. Complete Color Blindness (Monochromacy): The inability to perceive any color, which is extremely rare.

Self-Diagnosis Test for Color Vision Deficiency

Self-diagnosis tests provide a simple way to check for color vision deficiency. The Ishihara test is the most commonly used method, utilizing images made up of various colored dots to identify color vision issues.

Ishihara Test Method

The Ishihara test is a highly effective way to diagnose color vision deficiency. Here, we will explain the Ishihara test step-by-step in detail.

1. Test Preparation

Preparation for the Ishihara test is crucial as the testing environment can affect the results.

  • Search Online: Look for ‘Ishihara color test’ images through a trusted website. Download or print high-quality PDF files if available.
  • Lighting Conditions: Natural light is ideal for the test. If using artificial light, ensure it is uniform and bright white light. Avoid shadows or too dim environments.
  • Testing Tools: If using printed materials, ensure the color printer’s accuracy. For digital screens, adjust the monitor’s color settings to standard mode to display accurate colors.

Ishihara Color Vision Test Method

2. Viewing the Images

The Ishihara test consists of images with various colored dots forming numbers or shapes within a circle.

  • Image Composition: Each image comprises randomly arranged dots of different colors, with specific colors forming numbers or shapes.
  • Viewing Distance: Look at the images from a suitable distance, usually between 75-100 cm. Keep your eyes relaxed and natural.
  • Focus: Take your time to look at each image. Even if the numbers or shapes are not clear, don’t stress; move on to the next image. Typically, spend 5-10 seconds per image.

3. Recording Results

Accurately recording what you see during the test is important.

  • Preparation: Use a prepared sheet or notebook to record the numbers or shapes you see in each image, noting the image number.
  • Accuracy: If you don’t see or are unsure about a number or shape, note that down too, e.g., “Image 3: Number not visible”.
  • Recheck: If necessary, review each image more than once, but avoid overdoing it as eye strain can reduce accuracy.

Ishihara Test Results Recording Process

4. Comparing and Analyzing

Compare your recorded results with the correct answers to determine if you have color vision deficiency.

  • Check the Answer Key: Use the answer key available online to verify your results.
  • Comparison: Compare what you saw with the correct answers. Normally, individuals with standard color vision can correctly identify all numbers or shapes.
  • Results Analysis: If you consistently cannot identify numbers or shapes, there is a possibility of color vision deficiency. In this case, consult a professional for an accurate diagnosis.

The Ishihara test is a simple yet highly effective method for diagnosing color vision deficiency. However, for an accurate diagnosis, it is recommended to visit an eye specialist for a more comprehensive examination. Take this opportunity to check your color vision and seek appropriate measures if needed.

Coping with Color Vision Deficiency

To minimize the impact of color vision deficiency on daily life, consider these methods:

  • Assistive Devices: Use special glasses or lenses designed to aid color vision deficiency.
  • Environmental Adjustments: Practice recognizing information through shapes or positions instead of colors.
  • Professional Consultation: Visit an eye specialist for accurate diagnosis and advice.

It shows people using color filters, mobile apps, labeling systems, and more.


Color vision deficiency is a common but often overlooked issue. A simple self-diagnosis test can help identify it, and seeking professional help if necessary is crucial. Try the Ishihara test to check your color vision. If you need more information or assistance, consult a specialist.

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