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