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Testing for Color Blindness

Having color blindness means you can’t see certain colors the way most people do — or you may not see color at all.

If color blindness runs in your family, or if you think you or your child may have color blindness, talk to your eye doctor. They can give you or your child a simple vision test to check for color blindness.

Usually, your doctor can tell if you have color blindness from a test called the color plate test. If those results aren’t clear, there are other tests the eye doctor can do. You don’t have to wait for results for these tests — your eye doctor will be able to tell you if you have color blindness as soon as you take them.

Color plate test

This is the most common type of color blindness test. Your eye doctor will ask you to look at an image made up of colored dots with a differently colored number or shape in the middle. If the shape blends into the background and you can’t see it, you may have a type of color blindness. Different color plates can check for different types of color blindness.

Colorplate test

Anomaloscope test

This test will check if you can match the brightness of two lights. You will look into an eyepiece at 2 lights that have different levels of brightness. You’ll use knobs to adjust the lights and try to get them to match. If you aren’t able to match the brightness of the 2 lights, you may have color blindness.

An anomaloscope

Hue test

In a hue test, you’ll get blocks that are different colors. Your eye doctor will have you arrange them in rainbow order, like from red to purple. If you have trouble putting them in the correct order, you may have a type of color blindness. Eye doctors often use this test for people who need to have very accurate color vision for their jobs — like photographers or designers.

Four horizontal strips with squares of varied colors on them

Last updated: June 26, 2019