I need a new pair of glasses and therefor I went to visit the optometrist to test my eyesight. Just before I shook hands with the optometrist I told my wife, that they are always using those tests with a red and a green half, differing in acuity and my color blindness doesn’t let me name them 100% accurate.
Usually the optometrist asks, if the acuity of red or the green half is better and I answer with left or right just because I’m not sure if I pick the right color name. This time it was even better. After a few tests…
Optometrist: You’ll see a red and a green part.
Me: I’m colorblind.
Optometrist: Oh, doesn’t matter. Just tell me which side is better for your eyes.
Me: I can’t really see the red one.
Optometrist: Doesn’t matter. Just tell me.
Me: Green on the right.
Optometrist: Ok. — And now?
Me: The red has no contrast for me. I can’t really see it.
Optometrist: We will see. Which is better for you?
Me: Green again.
Optometrist: And now?
Me: Green. I can’t see the red. And green doesn’t look sharp at all.
Optometrist: Hmm. — What about this?
Me: Green. But very bad.
Optometrist: Ok. We will switch to another test.
She changed the test to another one which was no problem for me. But after a short while she switched back again to the red and green halves.
Optometrist: Can you see this?
Me: Not really.
Optometrist: Which is better?
Me: Green again. But I can’t see the red.
Optometrist: Ok. — And this?
Me: Green, but very blurry. There is no contrast on the red side.
Optometrist: Well, doesn’t really matter. We go on from here.
Finally. – Finally she understood that I can’t see any contrast on the red side because of my color blindness. It was just impossible for me to compare those two parts.
Only after the test I really realized, how crazy this must have sound to the optometrist. Maybe she encountered the first time someone like me with a strong red-blindness. How strange to hear that someone can’t see although he can see.
But I ask myself, why do they still have those tests in use. Shouldn’t they have learned in the last years? I suppose those tests easily could be switched to another color which is much better visible for us red-blind guys. — Dear optometrists, change your test setup taking also color blindness into account.