Parenting Special Needs

Colour Blindness In Your Toddler - Causes, Signs, Diagnosis & Cure

Ambili S Kartha
1 to 3 years

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on May 27, 2018

Colour Blindness In Your Toddler Causes Signs Diagnosis Cure

Do you know that newborns arrive in the world with relatively undeveloped eyesight? In fact, a newborn baby can only differentiate highly contrasting colors like black and white. Your little one takes approximately six months to get a full-color vision. Even though babies may not be able to differentiate colors, they can typically tell the difference between bright colors, alias, primary colors. Their ability to recognize different colors develop around a year and a half – more or less the same time he or she starts to make out the resemblance and difference between size, shape, and appearance of things around him. By then he or she could easily match the color. For example a green block to a green car, etc. However, only after their second birthday (they have to develop their vocabulary, right?) they could start naming the colors correctly.

If you experience your child find it difficult to recognize or understand the colors and if he or she is not able to match or name some particular color during the developmental stages, you cannot overlook the chances of color blindness. Here comes the importance of color blindness awareness.

For some reasons, boys are more likely than girls to experience this genetic issue. Out of 20 boys, it is likely that one or two will have a color vision problem. Color blindness isn’t serious. Yet, it is not something to overlook as well. Continue reading to know color blindness risk factors, its signs, and causes.

What Is Color Blindness In Toddlers?

To simply put, color blindness is an inability or difficulty in telling the difference between certain colors. the child experiencing this condition cannot see certain colors the way they actually appear. Children with color blindness have trouble telling the difference between some colors. They cannot be able to differentiate shades of a color as well. For example light, dark and olive green appear alike for them.

Color vision deficiency is the aptest word for this condition because this condition does not affect the vision. However, the complete color blindness, which is a very rare phenomenon, is an exception. Here, the affected person may not be able to see colors at all (they will see the world Like a black and white movie). The most common type of color vision deficiency is the inability to tell the difference between red and green, followed by blue and yellow.

What Causes Color Blindness In Toddlers?

Genetic is the main reason of color blindness in toddlers. Children usually inherit colour blindness from their mother or father or both. This condition is found run in families. Other color blindness causes includes:

  • Damage caused to particular parts of the brain, eyes or retina due to some accidents (this, though less possibility among toddlers)
  • Exposure to chemicals like carbon monoxide or carbon-di-sulfide or lead

How Does Color Blindness Happen?

Before knowing how the color blindness happens, you should know some facts about normal vision In the retina, at the back of the eye, the two types of cells are:

  • Rod cells – these cells are sensitive to light, but they do not pick up colors
  • Cone cells – these cells pick up brighter light, and see details and differences between colors. There are three types of cone cells. They pick up red, green and blue light respectively. By combining the messages from each set of cone cells, we catch the extensive range of colors around us
  • Color blindness happens when one or more of these cone cell types are absent or don't function properly

How To Know If A Child Is Color Blind?

The symptoms of color blindness are often so mild that some children may not even know they are color blind. According to them what they see is normal. However, parents can detect signs of color blindness when children are learning their colors. If your child is color blind, you might start to notice the sign of color blindness when he or she’s around four years old. Here are some early symptoms of color blindness:

  • The child may not show interest in coloring or sorting games with colored blocks or beads
  • While painting or coloring, the child use wrong colors– e.g. wrong colors to paint leaves and trunk and sky
  • Issues in identifying red or green color pencils or any color pencil with red or green as component (like purple and brown)
  • Smelling food before eating (as they may not be able to identify the food otherwise)
  • Excellent sense of smell
  • Having a very good night vision
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Issues with reading or detecting objects in colored pages (color on color)
  • The child may complain a headache or eye pain when looking at red against the green background, or vice versa
  • Identification of color worsens in dim light

How Is Color Blindness In Toddlers Diagnosed?

Once you suspect color-blindness, take your child to an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Various color vision testing using specially designed charts will be conducted by the eye specialist to confirm the color blindness in your child. If a color vision deficiency is found, further testing will be initiated to find out the type of color blindness your child is experiencing.

What Is Child Color Blind Test?

It is the simple screening tests by which the ophthalmologist differentiates and categorize the colorblindness. The Hardy-Rand-Rittler (H-R-R) and Ishihara Color Plates are used to evaluate the type and degree of color deficiency in the child. the child will be asked to name the color or identify the shapes or number embedded in different colored dotes with different intensity.

What Are The Types Of Color Blindness In Toddler?

  1. Red-green color blindness

    Children with this type of color blindness cannot be able to see some shades of red and green. Red-green color blindness is usually inherited. It is the most common form of color blindness and accounts for eight percent of boy’s and 0.4 percent of girl’s color blindness. This is owing to the fact that the genes that give rise to red-green color blindness are on the X chromosome. Since the males (XY) have only one X chromosome if they inherit the defected gene they contract colorblindness. On the other hand, in females (XX), a normal gene on only one of the two X chromosomes is enough to produce normal color vision
  2. Blue-yellow color blindness

    Children with this type of color blindness cannot be able to see some shades of blue and yellow. This type of color blindness accounts for five percent of the reported cases. Both genders are equally affected because the genes that give rise to this type of colorblindness are located on a non-sex chromosome (Chromosome 7)
  3. Complete color blindness:

    Children with complete color blindness don't see any colors. Most often poor vision accompanies complete color blindness

Non-inherited Genetic Color Blindness

Colour blindness is not always inherited. It can be induced by:

  • A chromosomal change (mutation) due to some kind of exposure to heavy metal poisoning
  • Head injuries that cause trauma to the brain or retina
  • An outcome of a degenerative eye disease

What Are The Treatments For Colorblindness In Toddlers?

There’s no cure for color blindness in the child. But it isn't a serious condition, either. Some doctors suggest tinted glass and lenses that enhance some colors, but it is not that much helpful. Helping and supporting the child live with it is the only option. On the other hand, an acquired or non-inherited color blindness can be cured when the underlying condition is resolved.

Did you like the blog? Did you find it useful? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below; we’d love to hear from you.

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