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Impact of congenital color vision defect on color-related tasks among schoolchildren in Durban, South Africa

Authors Mashige KP

Received 6 February 2019

Accepted for publication 22 May 2019

Published 13 August 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 97—102

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTO.S204332

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Mr Simon Berry


Khathutshelo Percy Mashige

University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Health Science, Discipline of Optometry, Durban 4000, South Africa

Background: People with congenital color vision deficiency can experience some difficulties with seeing colors in everyday life, and these problems vary according to the nature and severity of the defect, the individual’s circumstances and their ability to develop coping or adaptive strategies.
Purpose: To determine the impact of congenital color vision deficiency on color-related tasks among Black South African schoolchildren.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 1305 public schoolchildren in Durban, South Africa. Structured questionnaires were administered to determine the difficulties they encountered in aspects of color matching and recognition.
Results: Of the 1305 schoolchildren who participated, 601 (46.1%) were boys and 704 (53.9%) were girls, with 29 (2.2%) having congenital color vision defects. The prevalence of congenital color vision deficiency was higher in boys (n=25; 4.2%) than in girls (n=4; 0.6%). A statistically significant proportion (P<0.0001) reported difficulties with color-related schoolwork and activities of daily living.
Conclusion: Congenital color vision deficiency affects many aspects of life and extends across play, sports, education, health and safety issues. Early detection of children with congenital color vision defect through regular school screenings is needed to offer affected children appropriate vocation and career guidance.

Keywords: color vision, color vision defect, congenital, color-related tasks, South Africa

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