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Public Health. 1998 Mar;112(2):81-4.

Colour blindness.

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  • 1Huntlywood, Wilmslow, UK.


The physiology of colour vision is discussed; as is the way in which the human eye can detect various combinations of red, green and blue. Red-green colour blindness, with X-linked inheritance, is the most common, but other types are also considered. Methods of testing relating to the age of the child are reviewed. The use of colours in teaching is widespread, but there is controversy over the difficulties this may cause a colour blind child. A review of the literature does not reveal much information on this, and any problems that do arise are likely to be individual to the child, and to depend on such factors as overall intelligence, the attitude of the teacher, and the personality of the child. There is not doubt that it is essential to recognise colour vision defects when it comes to choosing a career, and that tests must be done during secondary schooling, but in order to avoid some affected children being disadvantaged there is enough evidence to support testing at school entry.

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