At about the time your child turns five or just when big school is around the corner, your pediatrician will most likely recommend you see an opthalmologist. Nothing alarming. Just a simple, basic, comprehensive eye exam. Off we went.
Mak went first.
Then the doctor pulled out a little hard bound book at the end of the session filled with pages of what looked like colored, pixelized circles with numbers in them. He would be checking for color vision deficiency, he said.
Doc: Tell me the numbers you see in the picture.
Mak: 25...6...45...8...56 and 29.
Doc: Perfect. But try keep the children away as much as you can from all those new gadgets like the Ipad.
Umm yeah sure.. like telling a woman to walk away from a buy-one-take-three shoe sale.
Tato was up next. Same drill. All good too. No sweat. Then the Doc pulled out the same book.
Doc: There are numbers inside those figures. Can you tell me what they are?
Doc: Can you tell me what numbers you see?
Doc: There are two numbers in the circle. Can you see them?
By the end of the book, Tato got three out of sixteen plates right even after he carefully studied each. Thanks to Japanese opthalmologist Shinobu Ishihara who developed a test to screen military recruits for abnormalities of color vision together with a color blind assistant while working in the military, we learned that Tato is color blind. Since this is the age of being PC the more appropriate, 21st century term is color vision deficient.
Pubmedhealth has a clearer explanation for all of this:
Color vision deficiency occurs when there is a problem with the color-sensing granules (pigments) in certain nerve cells of the eye. These cells are called cones. They are found in the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye.
If just one pigment is missing, you may have trouble telling the difference between red and green. This is the most common type of color blindness. If a different pigment is missing, you may have trouble seeing blue-yellow colors. People with blue-yellow color blindness usually have problems identifying reds and greens, too.
Most color blindness is due to a genetic problem. About 1 in 10 men have some form of color blindness. Very few women are color blind.
No surprises really. Welcome to the family, Tato. You and almost every other male on my dad's side of the family is too. We've had a few laughs over the years hearing how the wives help dress up the color-challenged husbands and all the silly arguments they get into because of colors. We've also had to change things and keep it real simple for our usual color-coordinated family reunions. Red, white and green were the colors one year and a few of those assigned green still came in brown!
The year we chose purple was a bit of a disaster.
We picked black last year. We figured no one could go wrong with that.