Published on January 23rd, 2013 | by Color Blindness Editor0
Passing the Military Color Blindness Test
Every year thousands of men and women who wish to enlist in the United States military are ruled medically ineligible. There are a number of reasons why a person may be declared unfit to serve in the military. One common reason for disqualification is color blindness. All branches of the military require recruits to pass an eye exam that includes a test to detect color blindness.
If you have concerns that you may suffer from color blindness, there are steps that you can take before visiting the recruitment office to check for the condition and treat it if necessary. The first step is to understand the test. Known as the Ishihara test, it consists of 38 plates, each with a pattern of colored dots. The different colors of the dots will reveal a number within the pattern that those who do not suffer from color blindness will be able to easily see. A person who struggles to see the number, or who does not see the number at all, shows signs of color blindness.
There are online simulations of the test available, but it is important that people who use these tests consider them to be informal and inaccurate. Monitor displays may alter the coloring of the dots to such a degree that a person who would fail the formal test will pass the online version. Seeing an eye doctor and taking the formal examination is the only way to get a true diagnosis.
If you are diagnosed with color blindness, there are options available that can help you. Eye doctors are able to prescribe color correction lenses that alter the wavelengths of various colors as they pass through the lens and into the eye. These lenses can be worn as eyeglasses or as contact lenses. Many people who wear these lenses comment that the world looks richer and fuller than before, because now they can see life in the full range of color that they never saw before being treated.
If you are thinking of starting a career in the military, it’s important to have any potential health issues addressed before you sit for the military medical exam. Having your vision checked for color blindness is a wise first step before seeing the recruiter. It can mean the difference between a rewarding military career, and being on the outside looking in.