Color Vision Disorders

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Color Vision Disorders
Color Vision Disorders
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Color vision disorders

In the case of color vision disorders - as the name already suggests - normal color vision is impaired. This is expressed by different degrees of restriction in the perception of one, several or all colors. One also speaks - depending on the severity - of color impairment, color weakness and color blindness.

As part of the diagnosis, various tests are carried out, among other things. The therapy is different. So far there is no treatment for congenital disorders of color vision.


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  • Color vision disorder - what is it?
  • Diagnosis of color vision disorder
  • Therapy of color vision disorder
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Color vision disorder - what is it?

Color vision disorders are shown by lower sensitivity to certain colors, so that those affected perceive certain colors, for example, under favorable conditions, but not under poor conditions (color weakness such as red, green, blue weakness). A general distinction is made between red-green weakness (often especially in men) and the very rare blue-yellow weakness.

If individual colors are not perceived at all, one speaks of partial color blindness (e.g. red, green, red-green blindness). Two color sensations can also be missing. Often the disorders affect the red-green sense. Therefore, the red-green weakness and the red-green blindness are especially known.

In total color blindness (achromatopsia), the function of certain cells in the eye that are involved in color vision (cone cells) fails. No colors can be perceived or distinguished. However, differences in brightness can be recognized and different levels of "gray" can be perceived. Total color blindness is extremely rare.

Depending on the severity of the color vision disorder or whether there is color blindness, those affected are not allowed to practice certain professions, e.g. tram, bus driver or pilot. Difficulties also arise in work where color vision is essential, such as in the fashion industry, in painting companies, etc.

Color vision disorders can be congenital. Various non-congenital diseases of the center of the retina (macula) or the optic nerve also change the perception of colors. Color vision can be impaired by medication or poisoning.

Diagnosis of color vision disorder

The ophthalmologist conducts an anamnesis interview to make the diagnosis. Various tests such as color charts (Ishihara charts), color samples (Panel D-15 test) and special devices (anomaloscope) are used. With the help of the anomaloscope, the ophthalmologist can classify the severity of the color vision impairment.

Therapy of color vision disorder

So far there is no treatment for congenital disorders of color vision. The diseases underlying a change in perception of colors (eg macular diseases which, as a concomitant phenomenon, lead to a change in the perception of colors) or any poisoning can be treated.

Whom can I ask?

The contact persons are the ophthalmologist. They diagnose color vision impairment / color blindness, provide information and take therapeutic measures.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs of a visit to the doctor to clarify a color vision disorder / color blindness are usually covered by the responsible health insurance provider. The cost of diagnosing and treating poisoning is also usually covered. The assumption of costs for the treatment of illnesses that are associated with a change in perception of colors is related to the respective illness.

You can also find out about the respective provisions from your health insurance provider, which you can find on the social security website.

For more information, see

  • Costs and deductibles (visit to the doctor)
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