Colour vision tests for children

Michael and Joshua Mandel find out whether a low-cost colour vision test could be designed with coloured sweets that mght be more attuned to the specific needs of the paediatric population

The prevalence of colour vision defect is estimated at 8% in males (or one out of every 12) and between 0.4 and 0.5% in females (or 1 out of every 200).1,2 A classic text, Birch,2 explains that the most likely form of colour abnormal vision is inherited, via an X-linked form of inheritance.

A boy may inherit just one X chromosome, so has a 50% chance of expressing the trait whenever the mother is a carrier (the daughter of a male colour defective) or will inherit the trait when it is the rare occasion of the mother being colour defective. So it is typically a boy who gets the disorder and inherits it from his maternal grandfather. Deuteranomalous trichromatism is the most common type of congenital colour vision defect.2

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