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Color vision problems become more common with age, reports Optometry and Vision Science
Date:2/20/2014

n. These "blue-yellow" errors are distinct from the "red-green" errors observed in people with inherited color blindness, which affects about eight percent of males and 0.5 percent of females. Although the two tests had different failure rates, they detected similar frequencies of blue-yellow errors.

More Severe Defects May Affect Daily Functioning

The results confirm previous studies showing that color vision "deteriorates measurably" with aging. Most subtle aging-related color vision abnormalities are likely to go unnoticed, the researchers suggest.

However, they note that nearly 20 percent of older adults failed the easier of the two tests, "designed to only detect defects sufficiently severe to affect performance in daily life." Dr Schneck and coauthors note, "These individuals would have problems carrying out some tasks that rely on color vision."

The researchers discuss factors that may contribute to changes in color vision with aging, and to blue-yellow defects in particular. These may include reduced pupil size, admitting less light into the eye; increased yellowing of the lens inside the eye; and changes in the sensitivity of the vision pathways. All of these are known changes with age to the human eye.

Increased rates of eye diseases are another potentially important contributor. Dr Schneck and coauthors add, "The most common age-related eye diseases (glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease) all produce blue-yellow color vision anomalies, at least in the preclinical or early stages."


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Contact: Connie Hughes
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646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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