A recent study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s journal, Ophthalmology, indicates that color vision deficiency (CVD), or color blindness, is most prevalent in preschool-aged Caucasian boys. Out of 4,005 children tested in California, one in 20 Caucasian preschool males were found to have some form of CVD –the most of all ethnicities included in the study.
Researchers with the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study Group tested the children, ranging in age from 2 ½ to 4 years old, using Color Vision Testing Made Easy color plates. In addition to discovering Caucasian boys have a higher rate of color blindness; researchers found African-American males had the lowest occurrence at 1.4 percent. Color blindness in preschool-aged girls ranged from 0 to 0.5 percent across all ethnic groups represented.
Although color blindness is not a true form of blindness, it does affect outcomes for school-age children because they can’t process colors the same way others are able to. In addition to making color-based tests and activities nearly impossible for color blind children, the issue can also lead to behavior problems and poor results on other forms of testing. The ability to diagnose CVD early in a child’s life is critical to their learning, and it may be something to consider for your young patients.
Although color vision deficiency is not repairable and can be an indicator of eye disease, the prevalence of CVD in so many young boys is a good reminder that children’s eye health is an important part of their development and that it’s never too early for them to begin having their eyes examined. Performing retinal screening can also aid in early detection of other vision issues.
Optos provides ultra-widefield imaging technology that can offer your young patients pain-free retinal screenings. Unlike other imaging devices that require dilation of the eye, optomap® allows you to view 82% of any patient’s retina in less than a second, with no discomfort. optomap can assist in the early detection of eye disease or vision problems and provide a reference point for future exams. Contact us to learn more about optomap and how it can benefit your young patients.