One characteristic of Stargardt’s disease is a reduction of color vision. Rather than referring to it as color blindness, it is more accurate to refer to it as ‘impaired color vision’. Some people with Stargardt’s see colors in a diluted form and some people do not see certain colors at all. Keep in mind that Stargardt’s is expressed differently in different individuals and that I am sharing my personal experience with Stargardt’s disease. I struggle to see the color yellow.
Yellow is completey invisible in my center vision. That means if I look directly at something yellow I will not see it. My peripheral vision, however, is completely intact and can see everything that a healthy eye can see from the side. I discovered the invisible yellow while riding the city bus a couple of years ago. As I sat, a girl stood in front of me and held the pole to keep her balance. Her fingernails were about one foot away from my eyes and appeared to have no polish on them. When I looked away I saw a bright yellow fingernail polish in my peripheral vision. It was like a magic trick! For the remainder of that ride I creepily glanced at her nails as the color came and went.
In my first and second years of college I always studied with the use of a highlighter. Those days were great. I was on the dean’s list back then. But can I complain just for a sentence about how much I now despise highlighters? I literally cannot see highlighted material regardless of its color. I can see it in my peripheral vision but I think it’s not very helpful when reading because of the size of what I am trying to see. Reading requires detailed vision and details are provided by central vision. This is why we ‘Stars’ like things BIG. Okay, I do not necessarily despise highlighters but they don’t help me the way they once did. I cannot wait to tell you in another post about the devices that do help me!
Let me share my most recent encounter with the color yellow. I was reading a product review online and saw this:
I said geez no stars? I’m not going to purchase this item. But just as I looked away to close the window 5 yellow stars appeared:
I then sat and looked at and away from the stars to be sure that this was really happening. Grey… Yellow… Grey… Yellow. Aren’t my eyes funny?
So how do you know if you have impaired color vision? Take a look at the photo below. It is a color blindness exam and there are many variations of it. If you can see what is written, that is excellent! If you cannot see what is written, no big deal. You share that in common with me. Maybe navy looks like black to you also. Can you still feel happiness? Can you still have a dream and become successful by your own definition of it? Then you are pretty awesome.
I see dark and light green spots and a few hard to see pink spots here and there. It all just looks like random blotches. Sources have confirmed that it says 29!
No big deal! - Nysha Charlene