Mixing Up Blue and Green

Are you mixing up blue and green? What about red and green? It’s not only the color green which causes problems to colorblind people, but how can you know which type of color blindness causes the confusion, specially when it affects your child?

My son will be four this year…. It appears that he sees and can recognize all colors except for certain blues and greens. Sometimes he can point out a deep blue, however he often mixes up lighter shades of each. Is this Tritanopia? Or some version of it?

Before we get into some more details about colors and types of color blindness, I would like to state my thoughts on age and recognition of color blindness.

Already a few month old toddler has the same color spectrum as an adult. But only at the age of two they can start naming colors. And again it takes quite some time until a child really can grasp the whole color spectrum. Therefore a four year old child might need still some more time to learn all the colors. I think first of all you should wait two more years to finally judge about color blindness. There is still enough time at the age of six to consult an eye specialist and check for color vision deficiency.

On the other side it’s a good age to learn about color blindness and try to understand, how the world looks different to somebody with color blindness. You can learn how to support your child with everyday tasks and you might get a better understanding, why certain things are not that easy to accomplish as a colorblind child (or adult).

Mixing up blue and green
Every colorblind person can have problems distinguishing blue and green, no matter which type of color blindness. Why is that?

If you suffer from any type of color vision deficiency, you have quite a different color perception compared to somebody with normal color vision. They can distinguish more than 100 different hues. Color blindness reduces this, down to just around 20 different color hues with a severe color vision deficiency.

The CIE color space shows the whole color spectrum. When looking at the confusion lines of the CIE color space, you will recognize, that blue-yellow colorblind people definitely have problems with the color axis going from blue to green. But on the other side, if you are suffering from red-green color blindness, your spectrum of different distinguishable hues can be very limited. Because green flows into blue it can also cause problems between those two colors.

Therefor it’s not easy to tell which type of color blindness you are suffering from, when you can’t tell apart some shades of green and blue.

You have to learn more about the color vision deficiency affecting your child. Maybe some tests could help you to improve your knowledge. It’s definitely not easy to do those test with a four year old. In this case the color blindness testing poster could be of some help. But as I explained above, there is still enough time to learn more about it and otherwise there is always the possibility to visit your eye specialist, which is also the only way to receive a correct diagnosis.

4 responses on “Mixing Up Blue and Green

  1. Jennifer

    I would like to say to the parent of the 4 year old-you are not being paranoid. I definitely think you should have your child checked. I am a mother to a now 7 year old boy who is a tritanope. I discovered this by him mixing up blue and purple when he was 4. Be aware though, that the Dr.’s are not very informative. My son and I have figured out the majoity of things for ourselves. My son is very intelligent and I admire him. This is an extremely rare form of color deficiency and unfortunately I do not think that the Dr.’s themselves know enough about it!
    I would be happy to offer assistantce in anyway. My son and I have fought a lot of battles together with the schools and others as well. The biggest thing is knowledge. The teachers and pretty much everyone is is lacking the knowledge to understand this type of color deficiency.
    I wish you luck!

  2. Daniel Flueck Post author

    Jennifer, thank you very much for your contribution. Your story sounds like you had a lot to learn and not enough support from the Dr.’s. Unfortunately I think this happens far to often. An eye specialist knows all the biology behind color blindness, but can’t really help with everyday tasks.
    The awareness should be much higher specially among teachers, which could support your children at school and offer a helping hand.

  3. Caroline

    I am a mild- moderate tritanope. I mix up sea greens and sea blues most f the time unless they are very bright. I confuse the blues in pruples thinking one purple has more red in it than it actually has. I thught one of my purple skits had been dyed more blue by my other clothes until I realised that it hadn’t uncer very bright light.

    Ugh. A few people think I have some colour difficiency because I can’t match complimentary blues and greens well. I confuse very dark blues and blacks as well.