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Colour Vision Deficiency: Males

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 27030, tabled on 5 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve the rates of colour vision deficiency among men.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

19 July 2021

In the majority of cases, colour vision deficiency is caused by a hereditary genetic fault. Due to the pattern of inheritance, the condition most commonly appears in males, with females being carriers rather than expressing the condition, resulting in much higher rates among men. Colour vision deficiency acquired later in life may improve with treatment for the underlying cause. Sight tests are recommended every two years, although some people will be advised to attend more frequently due to increased risk factors.

However, occasionally colour vision deficiency may develop later in life as a result of other factors such as a side effect of certain medications and underlying health conditions, such as glaucoma and diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to problems with vision, including colour vision deficiency. The National Health Service diabetes prevention programme identifies those at high risk of developing diabetes and refers them for tailored, personalised education. Diabetic retinopathy screening is also offered to anyone over the age of 12 years old who has diabetes.

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