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A high percentage of the Canary population is unaware that they are color blind

Posted on 28-09-2022

Color blindness is a hereditary disease that mainly affects men and affects their perception of the red-green color axes, which includes shades of brown, and to a lesser extent, blue-yellow. One in 10 people in the islands suffer from color deficiency, which can be diagnosed by means of Ishihara plates, a test that allows us to distinguish the type and degree of the deficiency.

Dr. Roberto Santos, an ophthalmologist at Hospiten Rambla University Hospital, has de-stigmatized the condition and has found that many color-blind people are not aware they are color-blind, "because in ideal light conditions and with good color saturation, it goes unnoticed."

By means of the test, which consists of a series of plates with colored dots containing numbers that are not identifiable by a color-blind patient, a diagnosis of the degree of a patient’s color deficiency can be reached. In the case of the Canary Islands, prevalence of the condition is comparable to the rest of the country. Color blindness affects 10% of men and ranges from 0.5% to 0.2% in women.

Dr. Santos explains that problems with signage or in the digital environment have been identified in people suffering from color deficiency at an advanced stage. In some cases, the affected perception of color may condition some routine tasks, such as distinguishing fresh fruit or vegetables when shopping, combining garments or driving.

For that reason, the Hospiten specialist wishes to draw attention to the reality of the condition and defends the creation of new patterns to include different shapes or colors, to match the reality of people with color blindness and highlights some initiatives already being carried out to promote their integration.