Color blindness is a common vision problem that affects up to 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women in the population. People are usually diagnosed when they visit their optometrist for a routine vision check, but you can screen yourself at home using the new Color Blindness Test from EnChroma.
The Color Blindness app steps you through a series of pictures to evaluate the type and severity of your color blindness. It presents you with images of varying colors and asks you to identify the shapes (square, diamond or circle) that you see. In some images, the color differences are great and the shapes are readily visible. In other images, the color differences are subtle and the shapes are difficult to see, especially for those who are color blind.
When you have completed the test, the app will tell you whether you have normal or impaired vision. If you are color blind, the app will let you know if you are a deutan or protan and whether it is mild, moderate or severe. Protan and deutan are two types of red-green color blindness.
I tested the app with my 11-year-old son who has been diagnosed with severe red-green color blindness and the EnChroma test was spot on. I watched him take the test and he failed to discern several shapes and misidentified many of the squares and diamonds as circles. He was classified as a severe deutan by the EnChroma test, which is the same diagnosis he has received from two different optometrists.
The Color Blindness Test is available in the iOS App Store for free. It works on the iPhone, the iPod touch and the iPad. I chose to review the iPad version because the big screen made it easier to take the test. If you download the Color Blindness Test, please remember that the app is meant to be a screening tool and shouldn't be used to diagnosis a vision problem. You should see an optometrist or ophthalmologist for detailed information about any potential color vision deficiency you might have.