Color Blindness and Testing in Children Essay

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Color Blindness and Testing in Children

In a world of many technological advances, color perception has become a very important issue. One of the main advances pertains to color technology. An increased emphasis on color technology has raised awareness of the issue of color blindness. Many people are not aware of the origins of color blindness and the different types, although many people are affected by it. One in two hundred females have this defect while in males the defect occurs in one and twelve ( Lewis, Reitzammer & Amos, 1990). That is about two percent of the female and eight percent of male populations (Sewell, 1983). It is important to look at the prevalence of colorblindness in children and identify the problems
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This can lead to a prevalence of color deficiencies in females of about 0.64%. In the males (XY), the anomalous locus for color vision is also on the X chromosome, which has no counterpart on the Y chromosome. This leads to an increased number of color deficiencies in males, about 8% (Adams & Haegerstorm-Portnoy, 1987). Thus, females are less likely to be colorblind due to the fact that they have two X-chromosomes, if one chromosome is a carrier of color blindness then the other can compensate and not allow the recessive gene to surface.

Many factors contribute to color deficiencies besides genetics. Some specific drugs such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine can also alter the genetic makeup of a child. These drugs alter the sensitivity to specific lengths of light, often causing color deficiencies. There are also several contraceptives that have been linked to color deficiencies (Knowlton & Woo, 1989). Doctors have become more aware in the past couple of years and are trying to educate mothers-to-be on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy. By monitoring the drugs to which a mother exposes her unborn child, the less likely the child will have a color deficiency.

Many areas of concern are present when dealing with color deficiencies in children. One of the main problems associated with color deficiencies is that it is very hard to detect. Many times children simply adapt to the environment and are not tested to see if
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