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About Colour Vision Deficiency (Colour Blindness)

Aphrodite Livanes Optometrist at Alexandra Hills is proud to be Brisbane’s only Colour Blind Sight Centre™, and is dedicated to helping people with this condition. We can provide colour blind glasses and contact lenses, as well as a colour vision certificate (if required by employers).

Although most people have heard of “colour blindness”, the correct terminology is actually “Colour Vision Deficiency” or CVD. And thanks to the wonders of modern technology, colour blind glasses and contact lenses are changing the way the colour blind see the world!

What is Colour Blindness?

Colour blindness is usually determined by a particular set of chromosomes inherited from the parents, and is present from birth.


colour-statsThe condition affects more males than females; approximately 8% of males are colour blind, compared to only 0.5% of females (1). Having a male relative with CVD on the mother’s side of the family, increases the likelihood of the condition.


Colour vision deficiency may also occur later in life, as a result of injury or due to chronic conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Colour Blindness in Children

Children with congenital colour blindness have never seen the world any differently, so they usually do not even realise, let alone ask for colour blind glasses!

Parents may notice that their child is having trouble with identifying colours, or that they have a low tolerance for colouring in, or other activities which are reliant on colour.

Eye testing by an optometrist is the best way to identify if your child has CVD, and could benefit from colour blind glasses. We believe it is important for children to see a behavioural optometrist before they start school, because children’s vision problems (like colour blindness) can have a negative impact on learning.

How Does Colour Blindness Work?

treatment for colour blindnessVision is truly an amazing process. Receptors in the retina at the back of the eye send signals to the brain via the optic nerve, to be interpreted as sight.

There are two types of these receptors – rods and cones. The cones, concentrated mainly in the area called the macula, are responsible for colour pigment. There are three types of cones responsible for the colour signals, each containing a different pigment.

colour blind glasses australiaColour blindness results from one or more of the different cone systems either not functioning at all, or functioning in an unusual way. Most commonly, CVD leads to problems in distinguishing red and green, and the various shades of these colours.

However, colour blindness can also affect combinations such as red/brown, purple/blue, pink/grey, and green/yellow.

Our Brisbane optometrists can diagnose colour vision deficiency, by conducting various tests and assessments. One of the most well-known of these is the Ishihara plates test – you will find a simplified example of what it involves, at the bottom of this page.

Colour Blind Glasses Australia

Although there is no cure for colour blindness, in the last decade we have seen incredible advances in this area resulting in the development of colour blind lenses.

Colour blind glasses have been designed to help individuals with colour blindness to identify colours and shades, that previously seemed exactly the same.

There are a few different products available, such as Enchroma, Color-View, and iRo colour blind glasses.

Enchroma or iRO Lenses?

At our optometry practice we stock iRo colour blind glasses, developed right here in Australia.

While we are proud to support an Australian owned and made product, the main reason we have chosen to work with this brand (over Enchroma and others) is because we found that they were the only lenses which helped our patients to pass the Ishihara test.


People with CVD can now experience a greater range of colour (2), by wearing specially prescribed colour blind glasses or contacts, fitted with iRo lenses.


Every person perceives colour differently, and the severity of CVD can vary greatly. As a Colour Blind Sight Centre™, we provide a comprehensive colour vision assessment and are able to select the right colour blind glasses to help compensate for your colour vision deficiency.

If you require a prescription with your colour lenses, we can do this as well.

Good news Australia – colour blind glasses are now a reality! Book an eye examination today at Aphrodite Livanes Optometrist – Brisbane’s only accredited Colour Blind Sight Centre™.

  1. http://www.visionaustralia.org/learn-more/vision-tests.
  2. Results may vary depending on your particular condition and other important factors.

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