The test could help prevent vision loss through early detection
A new test could mean applicants previously barred from jobs because of slight colour blindness would be reconsidered.
Colour vision deficiency has led to people being turned away from jobs after failing tough tests relating to degrees of colour blindness.
Industries affected include aviation, the railways and the fire service.
The new research could also help prevent sight loss through early detection of eye disease.
The findings commissioned by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), were heralded by optics and visual science professor John Barbur from City University, London.
Leading the research, he said: "This is a novel and significant development with implications across occupational environments such as aviation, fire fighting, police service, rail and maritime transportation and the military."
It is believed the test provides a more detailed and accurate assessment of a person's vision.
The CAA's chief medical officer, Dr Sally Evans, said the test could have a significant impact on applicants.
"If the assessment methods and limits used in this study were applied as minimum requirements for professional flight crew, 35% of colour-deficient applicants would be eligible for medical certification as a professional pilot," Dr Evans said.
She went on to say the research, co-sponsored by America's Federal Aviation Administration, will be promoted internationally "in the hope that it is incorporated into world-wide medical standards."