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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2286
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
20222826
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Today, I took an eye exam and I learned that I am

Resolved Question:

Today, I took an eye exam and I learned that I am "substantially color deficient." A few years ago, I took a similar test on my phone and I was mostly fine. The only real difference I can think of between now and then is that I am now on a thyroid-boosting diet pill (OxyElite Pro). Is it possible that it caused me to become color-deficient? Or is it hereditary and worsened or manifested itself with age? I am a 24-year-old male.
Thanks for your time.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 6 years ago.
Dr. James :

Hello.

Customer:

Hi

Dr. James :

Before we begin.

Please Note:
JustAnswer is a public forum. Information provided is for educational purposes & does not establish a patient-physician relationship nor substitute for a personal consultation with a physician.

Do you understand those terms?

Please type "yes" or "no".

Customer:

Yes

Dr. James :

Thank you.

Dr. James :

Was there a reason your color vision was checked?
Do you have any problems with your vision?
When is your next followup appointment?

Customer:

It was for an Aviation Medical Exam

Customer:

To get a pilot's license

Customer:

The last eye exam I had was more than 10 years ago. 20/20 vision, so not much of a reason to go regularly.

Customer:

I should also note that it was not an optometrist that examined me. He's a general physician that has FAA certification to perform medical exams for pilots.

Dr. James :

It is possible you may have color deficiency since birth. Many people do fine with color deficiency and don't realize it until they get an exam.

Dr. James :

It is best you see an eye doctor for a more thorough exam. They thyroid boosting pills are unlikely causing any problems, but it is difficult to know what is exactly in these supplements.

Customer:

I have taken "unofficial" color deficiency tests as early as a couple of years ago

Dr. James :

when you make an appointment, specifically tell them you want your color vision checked as these tests are not routinely done.

Dr. James :

What do you mean unofficial?

Customer:

It was an iPhone app that I played around with, but the test was the same format. Circle filled with colored circles, read the number in the middle.

Customer:

On that note, I re-downloaded the app, and failed the test miserably

Dr. James :

With that change, you definitely need a dilated retinal exam and stop the supplement until you talk to you doctor.

Customer:

So I should make an appointment with an optometrist as soon as I can?

Dr. James :

Yes.

Dr. James :

Preferably an ophthalmologist, but a screening exam by an optometrist should be fine if you can get in sooner.

Customer:

Okay

Customer:

Everyone I have asked has told me that color deficiency is hereditary. How often is it acquired by non-hereditary means?

Dr. James :

Usually damage to the optic nerve.

Dr. James :

It is unusual to have change in color vision alone without other symptoms however.

Customer:

Aside from the effects of my diet pill, which makes me jittery and sweaty, there is nothing.

Dr. James :

It is important to get a thorough exam.

Customer:

Wilco

Dr. James :

Do you have any other questions for me?

Customer:

When I call an ophthalmologist to schedule an exam, what should I ask for specifically? Will "exam" do it, or should I say "thorough exam?"

Dr. James :

Just tell them you had an exam for a pilot license and failed the color vision test and that previously it was normal.

Customer:

Okay

Dr. James :


Please remember to press the accept button so I can receive credit for assisting you today.

Customer:

Thank you for your time

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