Thread: Color Vision

  1. #1
    Junior Member

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    Default Color Vision

    It's been my dream to become a firefighter, but I am really worried about color vision requirements. Do any departments not have a color vision restriction? I can easily tell the difference on a particular color test where I was required to line up shades of colors from darkest to lightest, but that damn Ishihara dot test gets me. I just can't see the numbers. My color vision has never hindered me in the real world. I can wire anything without a problem.

  2. #2
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    Default Color deficient

    Colorblind

    For some time, we have been following the progress of ColorMax lenses since the FDA approved them. colorblind people--color deficient is considered a more accurate term because most of them can see some colors. The genetic defect that causes the visual problem makes it more common in men. Some colorblindness affects about one in 12 men and one in 200 women.

    One of our candidates was concerned about the color deficient test. Though he had some color deficiency, to his surprise he could identify those colors (they used a multi colored stuffed animal) that the department was testing for.

    ColorMax glasses give a patient with color vision problems an option for both subjective and objective tasks they might not otherwise be able to do. But it's highly individualized. Some people do great with it, and others don't get much out of it, and others don't like it. But everybody gets some effect with the glasses, which cost up to $700. Some people go from seeing five colors to seeing 14.

    It's not known whether fire department gatekeepers and other agencies that require good color vision will accept people wearing ColorMax glasses. The FAA does not see these lenses as an acceptable substitute for color vision at this time.

    These lenses can be incorporated into contact lenses. Only one lense will have the coating. It could take up to 6 months to go through the break in period with the contacts.

    One candidate wrote: I am color deficient as well. I have what's called a red green deutan. I got the contact lens (only one needed) and when going through the ishihara test (which is the one most use) I pass with the lens. Only problem is that most places don't allow you to test with any correction, both color or regular. Also there is an issue with wearing contacts in a HAZMAT situation.

    The latest NFPA standards 1582 for the year 2000 have an update in the vision section, which states that color blindness will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It was great to see that but also stinks because each department has different standards. You start to find out which departments are more lax than others. Ventura for example is very cool about the issue and has alternate tests such as the Farnsworth 15 which is easier to pass. LA City however is very strict and close-minded to the issue. Only way to beat them is to cheat and I don't want to do that.

    It's a tough spot because you can't just go to an expert in the field and get a checkup because every department has different standards in this topic. You have to actually go through a medical to see how much of an issue it really is going to be. Hopefully this will all change soon.

    You can get a red tinted "colormax" lens to help correct your color vision problems. There are also sites online that offer the ishihara tests for free and you can use them to "study" what numbers you are supposed to see so you can pass the test. I know someone that did this, got hired and has had absolutely NO PROBLEMS at any point on the job (related to color vision that is). Is it cheating or unethical?..I'll leave that up to you. Is it worth it to get your dream job? I think so, but that's just me. By the way, many PD's/FD's are doing away with the CV test all together or are just going with traffic signal color recognition tests. Good luck to you. eke...

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter--The Complete Guide to Your Badge!

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959
    Last edited by CaptBob; 07-25-2004 at 01:01 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for your reply! That really soothes my worries.

  4. #4
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    Default Update

    Hello Captain Bob,

    I just wanted to drop this web site by, it is in regards to color vision. I was recently disqualified from So. Calif department fire academy for failing my medical Exam. I failed because I was unable to pass the color vision tests they gave me. I appealed the disqualification and did many hours of research on color deficiency and in my research I came across like the colormax lens. Contact lens called Chromagen lens that are FDA approved. I contacted an ophthalmologist that is proved on there web site and was able to get a prescription to correct my color vision. I was able to pass 100% both color vision tests the ishihara and Farnsworth. I was able to retest with the city and passed the color vision part of the medical exam. The total cost for the Doctors visit and prescription was appox. $600.00. If this can help any one else with color deficiency I would highly recommend it.

    Web Site: http://www.chromagen-international.c...ex2_ingles.htm

    Jeremy
    _____________________________________________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

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