Does colour blindness develop with age?

Today, Gill, the Aide, was helping me gather all Fran’s clothes etc. ready for her week’s stay in the care home and she suggested that the pink skirt she likes should be washed and made ready for packing on Monday.

I was puzzled at first because I didn’t know that she had any orange skirts and it was the pink one that Gill was pointing to. ‘Are you colour blind?’ I asked, ‘that skirt is pink’. She wouldn’t have it that it wasn’t orange although she did resile a bit and name a flower ‘to be more accurate’.

Now, I know my eyesight has deteriorated over the years and I need specs for reading and driving but I had never had doubts about colour. When I was a teenager and destined to be an officer in the Merchant Navy the most important physical requirement was good eyesight and very good colour identification. This is because on a black night the heading of a ship ahead at sea can be determined by the arrangement of the 3 lights, red, green and white.

Dad took me to Grimsby for the test which was very arduous. Looking at a mirror in a blacked out room I had to ID the rapidly changing little dots from the projector behind me. I passed in the highest grade with flying…er, colours.

So, my question is, does colour blindness develop along with deteriorating sight in old age?

Or, in other words, is Fran’s skirt pink or orange? :roll_eyes:

Sounds like cataracts to me. They definitely develop with age and can make distinctions between colours very difficult Indeed. Go to GP and obtain an urgent referral to your local hospital Centre Ophtalmologie. Treatment is very straightforward and delivers profound improvement in vision.


A neighbour had her “cats” done and has been mentioning to me how bright the colours are now… when we take our daily strolls.
As she’d never mentioned them not being bright before, this came as a surprise… but, as you suggest… perhaps it happened slowly, so went unnoticed…

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If Gill sees orange and you see pink it could also be her that has the cataracts? They seem to fade out colour.

I have a retinal membrane (similar thing) in one eye and sitting here looking out the window if I just use that eye the tree outside looks yellowish rather than a perky green. I never noticed before!

Learn something new everyday!

But do you have other symptoms of cataracts? Difficulty driving at night, react to bright lights etc?

I had both eyes done within three months of each other in 2021 and the thought of it was scarier than the actual process. I am the world’s biggest wuss to be honest but the difference it made is amazing and they put in lenses that are your current eye measurements except for progressive lens which you still need to wear glasses for afterwards. My son always remarks how sparkling my eyes look now as the lenses are so clear. My eyes went very quick indeed just like both my parents and then my sister so it can also be genetic as the surgeon said. If you start to “lose” the edge of the pavement or the centre of the road when driving or the sunlight clouds your eyes, get to the Opthal asap, it won’t improve without surgery.

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Never thought of cataracts, hers or mine, or, come to that, Fran’s. Because she has always thought of it as a pink skirt and has had it for the best part of 30 years.

Bright lights do not affect me any more than they always did but I do avoid driving at night now (my forthcoming trip to England is arranged to avoid it)

But that is the only possible symptom. The colours I see everywhere are as bright as they ever were, and, living in the country, there are plenty of them.

I’ll consider asking the doctor when I get back, but if trying to sort my hearing out is anything like checking my eyes I won’t be troubling a specialist for a year or more. :slightly_frowning_face:

David, do you ever get cloudy blurring in your eye(s)? Like being under water and then trying to rub it away? That is how mine started little by little until it became annoying and then on a routine eye test, the opthal said she could see cataracts forming. Apparently now they don’t have to wait until they “ripen” and cover the eye.

I had my eyes tested last October, and commented to the optician that my vision seemed to have improved
When he examined my eyes he said I had the very early start of cataracts, and that fitted in with the improvement in my vision as in some people the very early changes before the lenses start to cloud over can Improve vision

As has been said above, @David_Spardo , it could well be Gill rather than you. On the other hand, getting an eye check with an opthalmo might be a very good idea “just in case” - there’s quite a number of eye conditions that cause colour change perceptions (including early macular dengeneration).

However, if that skirt has always been pink and you are still seeing it as pink, my money is on the eye problem being Gill’s!

That’s really interesting!
I used to have to wear glasses for driving and watching the TV. However 5 years ago my vision improved and I was able to go without glasses. Last year I had an eye test and was informed that cataracts were just starting. Dreading a cataract operation as I hate needles.

Ah - but how do you know…

Have no fear - no needles are involved!

Not necessarily. Part of the initial consultation is to decide what vision you’d like to have afterwards. As a lifelong -7 myopic, I elected to go for perfect distance vision. As a result, my distance vision is now superb: 20:5, in fact. I now use reading glasses for anything closer than about 80cm. As both eyes are the same off-the-shelf readers are fine.

It is also possible to have progressive (‘varifocal’) lens implants but many who chose them report varied (no pun intended) results.

A note about astigmatism:
My second eye was fixed about 4 years after the first and the technology had advanced. At my consultation, I mentioned that the degree of astigmatism in the eye was a nuisance. By studying the 3D scan of they had made if the eye, the surgeon was able to cancel out the astigmatism by careful placement of the incision. Four years on and I still have perfect vision with no astigmatism in that eye.


To be fair I told my GP , she didn’t know about it


One person’s peach is another person’s orange :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Non of those exactly but closer to peach or salmon than the others. Certainly not the other 3.

Much to think about here, and thanks for all the information.
I do have very moist eyes and am often wiping them with a hanky to clear my vision, but once cleared, definitely not cloudy in any way.
In view of the fact that both Fran and I have regarded that skirt as pink for 30 odd years or so, makes me think that there is nothing to worry about, but, when I get back from Blighty I’ll get the advice of the doctor. :grinning:

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Nigel, you don’t feel anything as the anaesthesie works so quick and its like having drunk a few bottles of very strong red. You get a lovely light show whilst they operate too, all very 70’s spaced out in my two experiences. The pulling off of the tape holding the eye protector in place they stuck on an eyebrown hurt the most!


Plenty of colour perception tests online

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Great fun!

I got 91% correct, one fail, and I think that might have been because I found the first half dozen so easily that I was rattling through with over confidence without enough thought. The one I got wrong was 23 for 73 but not too bothered because I got the single 7 ok earlier. :smiley:

Put up a picture of the article and we can see :wink:

Good idea, but how will I know if I am the only one not colour blind. :rofl:
Anyway, here are 3 shots in the sunshine.

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