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Medicine

Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery 311

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-a-fun-upgrade dept.
xmas2003 writes "Several months ago, I posted to Slashdot about being able to see ultraviolet light after cataract surgery. While a lot of the discussion whimsically discussed the best way for 'Captain UV' or 'UltraMan' to use this 'super-power,' there were some people who were skeptical or (incorrectly) said this is Tetrachromatic vision. I've subsequently done more testing using an Oriel Instruments MS257 Monochromator and was able to see color down to 350nm — below the usual ~400nm limit of the visual spectrum. It's also easily demonstrable with a pair of 400nm and 365nm UV flashlights. Some readers who also have UV vision commented this can be quite annoying at black-lit Disney Rides, Halloween Haunted Houses, etc. Fortunately for me, it's just an interesting oddity so far. Along those lines, some interesting related stories about using UV vision during World War II and Star Gazing. Finally, many/most people end up getting vision debilitating cataracts, so my experience having a Crystalens implanted after cataract surgery may be informative."
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Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery

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  • Cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:37AM (#39033953)

    Can you see through clothes?

    • Re:Cool (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:02PM (#39034329) Journal

      Can you see through clothes?

      Apparently not, and honestly I'm having a hard time figuring out what good having UV vision is. What can you do with it? In your last /. post you called it a "superpower". [slashdot.org] Is it? How is seeing UV "super"? You're not faster or stronger or can fly or move things with your mind or see in the dark, you just see a spectrum of light no one else can. It's like being able to spit 100 yards, what good would that be? In fact I'd think it would be annoying, now I'm seeing things other people aren't, so lights might bother me while everyone else thinks it's fine and I'm the only one having a problem.

      Actually that's a good question: since you see UV light, could you use a UV flashlight to walk around in what appears to be almost complete darkness but you see just fine with the UV flashlight? I suppose that would be cool, not sure how useful that would be but interesting anyway.

      • Re:Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:16PM (#39034503) Journal

        Actually that's a good question: since you see UV light, could you use a UV flashlight to walk around in what appears to be almost complete darkness but you see just fine with the UV flashlight? I suppose that would be cool, not sure how useful that would be but interesting anyway.

        Answered my own question: half-way down this page he says he can see light from a 365nm UV flashlight that appears to have no light. [komar.org] So yes, he could light his entire house in 365nm UV light and "see" while everyone else would see pitch black.

        That would be neat, but some things that would appear as black to other people actually appear as violet to him. [komar.org] I would find that annoying, I guess technically he's now color blind, "the inability or decreased ability to see color, or perceive color differences, under lighting conditions when color vision is not normally impaired", since now he perceives some black colors as violet. [wikipedia.org]

        Think I'll pass on this superpower.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by fuzzfuzz (881119)

          "the inability or decreased ability to see color, or perceive color differences, under lighting conditions when color vision is not normally impaired", since now he perceives some black colors as violet.

          Not quite. Black is not a color.

          • "the inability or decreased ability to see color, or perceive color differences, under lighting conditions when color vision is not normally impaired", since now he perceives some black colors as violet.

            Not quite. Black is not a color.

            Sure it is. Just not any color that you can see. A black surface absorbs all wavelengths of the relatively tiny visible spectrum.

          • by Pharmboy (216950)

            Black == 0w/cm2 between 700nm and 400nm. He is referring to now being able to see between 400nm and 350nm, which is a type of violet. Specifically, "ultra violet".

            It is possible to light a surface with only 400nm-350nm light. We make ultraviolet lamps, and we have one that produces ZERO visible light in the 700nm-400nm range. To you and I, they look black. To him, it would be as bright as a regular light, but the color would be even more violet than violet. So yes, he would be able to see what you and

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          That sounds more like everyone else is color blind and he's one of the few that aren't. Those black things that appear violet are just poorly dyed. I have black fabric covering the front of my home theater speakers that look burgundy when the morning sunlight shines through our reddish living room curtains.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        Well could be worst.... at least he can't see in Infrared..... how I hate the night....

      • by Mr Z (6791)

        Actually that's a good question: since you see UV light, could you use a UV flashlight to walk around in what appears to be almost complete darkness but you see just fine with the UV flashlight? I suppose that would be cool, not sure how useful that would be but interesting anyway.

        Well, it'd be almost complete darkness, except for everything that fluoresces, which actually is quite a lot of things. Maybe he can get a job as plainclothes security at fun houses lit by black-light. Everyone else just sees te

      • He might make for one hell of a night burglar!

  • by Pirulo (621010) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:38AM (#39033979)


    If you can't read the line above. Then you don't have UV vision.
  • Come back... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brannoncyll (894648) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:39AM (#39033985)

    ...when you have X-ray vision!

    Seriously though, as someone who has a hearing range beyond the standard I sympathise with people forced to endure irritating stimuli that noone else notices and hence cares about. I remember having to leave a bar once because the tube was going on their old television; the high pitched screech was like nails down a blackboard. My girlfriend thought I was mad.

    • Re:Come back... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:47AM (#39034105)

      Having hearing aids can be much the same, only its possible (but usually very inconvenient) to take them out. Since starting at a medical facility, I've had several instances of my hearing aids picking up incredibly high pitched noise to the point where I had to leave the building. No one else even noticed there was a noise, much less one that powerful.

      • Re:Come back... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:58AM (#39034269)
        Don't hearing aids have magnetic detectors to work with telephones better? If that's the case with your hearing aids, you might be detecting high frequency magnetics that other people won't be able to hear.
      • by fruitbane (454488)

        Is has to do with the magnetism. I work in a library, and we have magnetic gates that detect active Tattle Tape strips in our books. If I'm wearing earphones when I pass through the gates they give off a high-pitched whine due to the magnetic influence on the speakers.

    • You dont need to have beyond normal hearing range to be irritated
      You just need to be young
      My home router emits a crazy pitch when its under heavy load, my laptop does it when on idle for a long time and my CRT does it always, but its noticeable when the audio is muted. Some tubelights ,power adaptors and voltage transformers do it as well
      But its rarely audible to the 30+ year olds
      • Re:Come back... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:08PM (#39034377) Homepage

        I have tinnitus, and can hear the whine of tubed TV's, tubed radio's(I own one), power adapters, various tube lights, and all that over top of it. I'm in my mid 30's. Actually it aggravates my tinnitus to the point where I need to put in ear plugs so the *weeeeennnneeeeeeee* doesn't get any worse.

        Generally anything above what people consider "whisper quiet" I find loud. Probably has something to do with the head injury 14 years ago, but I had sensitive hearing when I was a kid, but it's only gotten more-so as I've gotten older. Though my neurologist can't find anything wrong, neither can any other specialist I've been to.

      • by Alioth (221270)

        I'm almost 40, TVs with tubes are still easy to hear. At least in one ear (I tried out my ears kind of non-scientifically the other week with my signal generator set to sine wave and the 10kHz scale and a decent set of headphones, my left ear almost gets to 18kHz, my right ear struggles to get above 15 or so. I know some years ago both could get to almost 18)

        • by Mr Z (6791)

          I just had an image of Nigel Tufnel pointing to his left ear after such a test saying "This one goes to 11 . . . kHz."

    • I can hear pretty much any tube TV, good or bad. My friends parents constantly turn off the cable box but leave the TV on with a black screen. The power light stopped working ages ago, but I sure know when it's on, and have to go turn it off. It's a horrible sound that you almost feel more than you hear. And then there are those people who can't even hear the smoke detector low battery chirp. Sometimes I envy them...
      • by jpapon (1877296)
        I know exactly what you mean about the tube TVs. I've gotten used to it now, but it used to amaze me that other people couldn't tell the TV was on when it had the "black screen". The sound was so obvious to me, it was like they were saying they couldn't tell if a car engine was running.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by gknoy (899301)

          You can tell when a car engine is running???

        • The frequency you hear is the horizontal refresh. This frequency is going to be around 15.5 kHz, give or take a little (the exact frequency depends on whether the TV is PAL/SECAM or NTSC) and it is just flat-out beyond the hearing range of many people.

          You should not hear mine, though. It is an early-model HDTV (yes, it is a CRT), and only runs 480p or 1080i (if you give it 480i, it upscales it to 480p; 720p is not supported). The equivalent frequency for 480p is 31 kHz and for 1080i is also something u

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        And then there are those people who can't even hear the smoke detector low battery chirp. Sometimes I envy them...

        LOL, I think I have the opposite problem. My wife is constantly amazed that I can pretty much hear anything which goes "beep" in the house -- even if I'm watching a movie at fairly loud volumes, I've paused it and said "your cell phone just rang". Half the time she just shakes her head and wonders how the hell I hear this stuff.

        I don't have abnormally good hearing or anything, but apparently e

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      Go to more concerts and sit by the speakers, or gun ranges without hearing protection... it'll take care of that irritating super-hearing for you right quick.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      I notice very annoying "Bloom" around blacklight UV sources (much like he described in his blag) that is only present when I am not wearing glasses; meaning the light registering is almost certainly UV. Does anyone give a shit? No. And this is with stock eyes (something a lot of people probably experience); I can't imagine how annoyingly worthless his "power" is if it is improved beyond that.

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        I hate that "bloom". My eyes ache from it. Black lights in my field of view hurts my eyes.

        • by nschubach (922175)

          What bothers me are blue Christmas lights. Several of the shopping centers around here adorn their trees with all blue Christmas lights and I can't seem to focus on the lights to distinguish them. It's just bright blue annoyance.

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Probably because a lot of glasses filter out UV light to protect your eyes.

    • Re:Come back... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:39PM (#39034763)
      I had the same problem until I was in my mid-tweties. I could hear VERY high frequency sound. The ear doctors equipment tested me all the way up to the limit of his testing equipment. I could "hear" when the headlights were turned on in a car. I could hear radio towers when we drove by them. It was so high pitched it was more like I felt the noise than heard it, it was very hard for me to pin-point the source, it was not very "Directional"

      But then, some time when I was around the age of 23, I went to a Motorhead concert. It cured me. I couldn't hear AT ALL for 2 days after the show, but after the ringing finally subsided I had normal hearing. Thank you Lemmy.
  • by waterbear (190559) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:39AM (#39033991)

    Seeing UV after cataract surgery proabbly isn't a 'tetrachromic' effect. Human eye lenses are naturally yellow at birth, browner as we get older, browner still and they start being called 'cataracts'. They filter out the UV at any age. So the retina never usually gets a chance to try out its UV-seeing ability using its basic trichromatic receptor kit.

    -wb-

    • by philpalm (952191)
      Most digital viewfinders can see infrared signals. Flash a tv remote towards a viewing camera and you can see light flashing at you from the remote.
    • by pz (113803) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:01PM (#39034313) Journal

      Moreover, any plastic or (especially) glass lens you wear in a pair of frames will filter some-to-most of the UV even if the lens isn't specifically marketed to do that. Regular old glass filters out about 80% of UV. For polycarbonate (a/k/a CR-39, the standard eyeglass lens material), blocks nearly all of UVC, most of UVB, but passes much of UVA (blocks about 60%). Polycarbonate is often coated or treated with a UV-opaque dye for lenses that are marketed as UV-blocking.

      Normally, the anterior anatomy of the eye, including the crystalline lens, blocks most of UVA, so having an artificial lens implanted and then not wearing glasses would make one sensitive to UVA, and possibly UVB. Given that it would be stimulating the S (short wavelength) pigments, it probably would look intensely blue, but I'd have to check the spectra of the L (long) and M (medium) pigments to be certain ... might just appear whiteish.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        The sensitivity of all the pigments decays fairly similarly below about 420 nm so UV probably looks just like violet.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:41AM (#39034019) Journal

    I read somewhere (on the net of a million lies) that Bees (and other insects) can see polarized light. Then you can see flowers in a whole way (and maybe better find your way home).

    Or get circularly polarized contact lenses and see like a mantis shrimp!

    • by RDW (41497) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:48AM (#39034109)

      This quite cool: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidinger's_brush [wikipedia.org]

      • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:13PM (#39034473)

        That's weird, you mean not everyone sees that? When I put on my polarized shades in the car my window tinting has those little spots all over it (at least, as far as I can see). I just assumed that's the way it was for everyone.

        • by Amouth (879122)

          ok that is new to me - i always assumed (like you) that that was normal for polarized glasses.. although it does make since on why LCD's always looked odd and unevenly lit to me.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          The spots you see on your window tinting is probably due to polarization variations in the film. My sunroof has them. Haidinger's brush is more subtle. Pull up a blank white page on an LCD monitor, stare at the centre and slowly tilt your head. If at one point you see the blue/yellow bow tie pictured in the article then you're seeing Haidinger's brush.

        • by Mr Z (6791)

          I see the spot/crosshatch pattern on car windows when I wear polarized shades. I don't see Haldinger's brush, though, when I'm wearing no glasses. The pattern on car windows comes from the glass-tempering process.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by WeirdAlchemy (2530168)
          I don't think that's the Haidinger's brush effect -- I believe what you are seeing in the car window is the variability in birefringence from the strain pattern caused by the process of toughening the glass. [wikipedia.org]. From the article:

          The strain pattern resulting from tempering can be observed with polarized light or by using a pair of polarizing sun glasses.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SJHillman (1966756)

      A young adult scifi book I read long ago took advantage of the fact bees can see into the UV spectrum as a plot device to navigate through a forcefield that was invisible to humans, but was "bee purple". Here's a little more information on bees:

      "Honey bees and people do not see eye to eye. Humans see the colors of the rainbow; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (otherwise known as ROY-G-BIV). Although honey bees have a fairly broad color range, they do not see red and can only differentiate b

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In other words, does your new ability simply "shift" frequencies ?

  • Try Some Astronomy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iskender (1040286) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:47AM (#39034095)

    The relatively bright star Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris) is actually the brightest star in the sky in UV light. Of course you don't have pure UV vision but rather just a bit more UV bias.

    However, since you seem to enjoy an experiment I suggest going somewhere where at least the brightest stars are visible, and comparing relative brightnesses between stars with a person with average vision.

    Some background and a chart for Adhara below. It's close to Sirius which in turn is easy to find by using the belt of Orion.
    http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/adhara.html [illinois.edu]
    http://www.rocketmime.com/astronomy/fig/CanisMajor_wAdhara.gif [rocketmime.com]

  • Curses! (Score:5, Funny)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:50AM (#39034143)
    WHAT???? A man has come forward who can see into the ultraviolet?!!??? This cannot be!!!

    I, the evil mutant Darklight, am the only one with power over the ultraviolet spectrum. If another emerged with such powers, it would threaten my Ultimate Ultraviolet plot for world domination. I must alert my co-conspirators Nucleon and Cheetahface and see if they can learn more about this "xmas2003". A curious choice for a superhero name... the "x" suggests some affiliation with the X-men and yet when I sucked out Xavier's brain he revealed nothing of this mutant to me. It also implies some sort of holiday theme, which is simply baffling. Perhaps he wears an elf costume?

    Very well, xmas2003. I will play your game. We will find you, and then we shall see if your powers are real. If I find that you have been toying with me with false claims, then I will kill you quickly. And if I find that you have been telling the truth, then I will kill you... slowly.

    After taking out those precious, precious eyes of yours, of course. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAH!!!!

    -Darklight, Evil Mutant Overlord

    • by Polo (30659) *

      Yeah, you'll see ultraviolet... Ultraviolet STARS after I clobber you!

  • I've also had cataracts surgery, when I was a toddler. And I've always noticed that UV has bothered me and not other people, but I've never thought about if I "see" UV, or at least see it in a way that others can't. Sometimes it's enough to cause my eyes to spasm. (In fact, my aversion is so strong, while reading this summary my mind _imagined_ seeing UV light, and my eyes spasmed for a few seconds in reaction.) Anyway, now I'm wondering if anyone else has this sort of reaction.
    • by X0563511 (793323)

      I never had surgury, but I am very UV sensitive. I simply cannot tolerate unfiltered sunlight. The feeling is similar to getting nailed in the eye with a laser, or staring into a bright lightbulb.

      While I can't see UV (eg blacklights) I know when it is present, because of the "pain" (it's not really pain, you know what I mean?)

      Interestingly, my eyes either can't (or wont) focus violet or "high blue" light - eg the new fad of blue LEDs drives me nuts. Where you see one light, I see a smear or three lights (de

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        " I simply cannot tolerate unfiltered sunlight."

        I can handle the sun outside, but what gets me is over-cast. I think the dilation of my eye is still controlled by regular light, so mild overcast makes my eyes ache, which seems to be highly correlated with the UV factor. High UV and bright outside doesn't bother me much, but high UV and overcast hurts.

  • by Lev13than (581686) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:51AM (#39034169) Homepage

    That was an amazingly detailed and quite interesting write up - I found the numerous close-up photos and descriptions quite informative. Based on your proclivity for detail I am very glad that you suffered from cataracts and not colorectal polyips.

    • by mykepredko (40154)

      LOL.

      Actually, I am hoping that he isn't in a management position.

      The need for that level of detail could get a man killed!

      myke

  • by MickLinux (579158) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @11:55AM (#39034223) Journal
    Do the webs of writing spiders look like flowers now?'
  • We're effectively talking about corrective adjustments made to the shape of the eye; should it be adjusted enough in such a way as a tighter bandwidth were better scattered in the eye, then it kinda follows that some of it may be picked up. The question is, do purples, indigos, and violets seem stronger to you then before?
    • by vlm (69642)

      The question is, do purples, indigos, and violets seem stronger to you then before?

      As a follow up, I bet some similar pigments have strangely different UV reflectivity. Do different paint colors still "match" appropriately?

      For example. Everyone knows from the myspace era than dark blue text on black background is beautiful, edgy, trendy, and shows you're high tech. What if different UV pass characteristics result in brilliant UV output from the blue pigment, therefore dark blue appears bright to you, therefore ultra high contrast only to you.

      Also can you see clothing fluoresce? I know

  • by buckeyeguy (525140) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:00PM (#39034309) Homepage Journal
    Does this mean that for the affected patients, more UV is reaching their retinas than before? If so, how could that be a good thing? Seems like more damage would be on the way.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      It's more just barely UV light. And why would it be damaging? The biggest problem with near-violet UV is that it's absorbed in the lens and it yellows it.

  • The retina of the eye is full of cells. These cells send signals to the brain. The brain is apparently somehow able to know which type of cell sends each signal, otherwise it wouldn't be able to distinguish between the R, G and B signals. How does this connection actually work? Since, when there are 4 types of cells, apparently the brain is able to use those 4 types just as well. So it doesn't seem the brain, in its just born state, is already designed to accept a certain amount of color types, it looks lik

    • by tgd (2822)

      There's lots written up about it, in fact I'd bet Wikipedia has it.

      In a very brief nutshell, your optic nerve isn't a VGA cable -- you don't have RGB nerves. The cells just signal differently, and its the differences in the signaling that the brain learns to associate with specific colors. (This is unlike your ears, which have a range of nerves stimulated by specific (small) ranges in frequency.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:08PM (#39034391)

    A few years back my brother (who was about 14 at the time) got a Wii and was having trouble getting the controller to work. I was troubleshooting with him over the phone and asked him if the sensor bar was plugged in and he responded "I think so, no wait it's not. The light's not on." I asked him what light? The only lights on the Wii sensor bar are the infrared lights. He said he knew that, but they weren't on. Apparently he can barely see infrared light. I did some tests with some remote controls that do not light up when pressing the buttons and would ask him to tell me when I press the button. Not very scientific I know, but it was enough for me to prove that he does indeed see something. He can see the lights on remote controls, night security cameras, and of course the Wii sensor bar. They all appear very faint, but over Christmas I got him some cheap toy night vision goggles which apparently use infrared LED's and it was bright enough in a very dark room to act as a flashlight for him.

  • by dohnut (189348) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:09PM (#39034409)

    UV light and even blue light are damaging to the retina and UV light is a major contributor to cataract formation. The replacement lens you get after surgery may not block UV light at all (currently some replacement lenses do offer UV & blue light protection).

    Cataract surgery patients are advised to avoid blue light therapy products and, obviously, direct sources of UV radiation. Of course, protecting your eyes from UV radiation is generally a good idea for everyone.

    As someone who has a has a Grandfather with AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and I myself have, according to a genetic test, factors that make it more likely that I too will experience AMD, I try to protect my eyes as much as possible from both UV and blue light.

    • As someone who has a has a Grandfather with AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and I myself have, according to a genetic test, factors that make it more likely that I too will experience AMD, I try to protect my eyes as much as possible from both UV and blue light.

      Don't worry, it's not as bad as Intel makes it out to be.

  • by assertation (1255714) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:22PM (#39034565)

    My father is in his mid 70s and had cataract surgery.

    Before the surgery, for years, he hardly read anything and he was the most tech phobic of computer phobes, never saying why.

    After the surgery he started reading books, I convinced him to get an iMac ( instead of Vista, this was a few years ago )and to take the Apple store's classes.

    Years later he has his own web sites and sends me email.

    You can keep your UV vision, I have a minor miracle of my own.

    • Wonderful story. It's life-transforming for almost everyone who gets the surgery; certainly it was for me. I was mid-50s when I had the surgery. My mother had gone blind from cataracts in the 1960s so I knew it would happen but I was unprepared for the impact it would make. I could swim, kayak and ski without worrying about glasses fogging. And lights at night were pinpoints.

      Happy for your father and for you. :)

      • How nice to receive a reply on slashdot that isn't a nasty gram or some kind of penis waving or (arrested) adolescent posturing.

        Thank You!

  • by joneil (677771) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:24PM (#39034593)

    As somebody who is colour blind and undergone some extensive testing for it, I've been told by several people that the "normal" range of human vision between 400nm to 700nm is more or less an average. Everyone is different, and just as some people can naturally run a mile in 6-7 minutes with little training while others would have trouble walking a mile in 20 minutes, it is the same with our vision. IMO, a more true statement would be that the "weighted average" of human vision is 400 to 700nm, but the extreme ranges *might* go anywhere from say 350, 360nm to perhaps 720 or 730 nm.

          For example, even without a yellowed cornea, some people may not see into the UV at all. There are also suggestions - would not go so far as to say a sound theory - that some well known artists from days past had, perhaps without ever knowing it, natural extended vision into either the UV or IR, or perhaps even both. Just as it is claimed that some famous musicians from the past had a naturally extended range of hearing.

          Another thing to be aware of is that, at least IMO, the medical profession as a whole really seems to have little interest in this area. Specific example, I am colour blind, but it is very poorly understood. Also, since childhood, I have been extremely sensitive to bright light, but my night vision is superb, and apparently above that of the average person. I cannot tell you how many specialists I have either called or visited over the years, but the response is generally "I don't know" or "well, just live it it". It almost seems to me that if you cannot treat it or fix it right away, and you aren't going to die from it, why bother with it. so I have a small fortune invested in prescription eyeglasses, and I wear them even on cloudy days. You get some weird looks, but you get used to it.

          As for "proof", I can understand dealing with skeptical people. In terms of my own night vision, I had trouble even convincing my wife when we were first married. I solved that one real quick one night camping. Walking from our campsite to the washrooms, I left the flashlight behind. I was able to find my way no problem, but my wife keep tripping over rocks or branches in the dark. Even holding her hand she keep tripping or bumping into things. She sure wasn't impressed, but she has never doubted me since. :)

    • by Spectre (1685) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:46PM (#39034845)

      I cannot tell you how many specialists I have either called or visited over the years, but the response is generally "I don't know" or "well, just live it it". It almost seems to me that if you cannot treat it or fix it right away, and you aren't going to die from it, why bother with it.

      Call around, find some more specialists. One of the simplest and least expensive treatments for color blindness is to consistently wear a red contact lens on one eye (always the same eye) and a clear contact lens on the other. Even if you don't need contact lenses to correct a different vision problem. Sure, it looks a bit weird, but only people who right in front of you and look you in the eyes are going to notice. It doesn't take too long for the brain to adapt the difference in signals from the two eyes to provide a "color cue" that restores a lot of the capability for the typical red-green colorblind-afflicted individual.

      I don't know if there are similar treatments for other forms of color-blindness, but there likely is ... don't give up!

  • But I did get X-ray vision... it's not as good as you'd think. For one thing, I'm never going in to the senior center ever again!!!

  • It sounds potentially dangerous, depending on the intensity that leaks through. Consider that the retina is a part of the brain, what you're doing is exposing your brain to UV light, and while not directly ionizing it's enough to disrupt or initiate chemical reactions that doesn't belong there.
  • So aren't people supposed to see black lights? I see them extremely well and they obfuscate everything else around. I'm literally lost in any place with too many of such lights, especially when they start bouncing off the walls and the floor, but most people seem to navigate those places without any problems. I have a congenital open angle glaucoma, one of my eyes is totally blind, and the other retains only 10% of sight, but can see color very well, possibly better than usual, as I've had lots of argume

  • Don't think I'd opt for UV eyesight. Wouldn't that make all the stains on those hotel mattresses quite apparent? I'm OCD enough as it is. I'd be clinical if I could see how dirty the world really is.
  • I imagine that animals that can see UV perceive the UV colour as distinct from the other colours. And I suppose that is a function of the brain. Those people that can see UV -- what colour do they perceive, actually?
  • by Walt Dismal (534799) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @04:53PM (#39038061)

    I've found that a cataract is easily visible with a UV LED flashlight because the cataract fluoresces bright green. I do not recommend looking at the light very long however, because the UV will accelerate the protein cross-linking and worsen the cataract. And the glow will freak out some people; it looks unearthly.

    I got my cataracts, by the way, from working 12 to 16 hour deathmarches and staring at screens then going home and collapsing into bed without removing my extended-wear contact lenses. Too long a period of this abuse (at a start-up) cut oxygen to my corneas, this then affected the electrolyte balance in the lens cells, and triggered damage to the colloids that constitute the contents of these cells. This caused the crystalin protein molecules to begin cross-linking to form cataracts. Normally, these molecules are held apart by delicate electrostatic forces, but various factors will disrupt those and begin the spiral into dysfunction.

    I urge people who wear contact lenses and work long hours for weeks on end to make sure they do not sleep in their lenses, and that they take proper eye nutrition supplements. The problem is easy to avoid, and hell to pay once it happens.

    • by Jay L (74152)

      I've been sleeping in my extended wear lenses as well, and I've worried I'm taking a theoretical risk. Were these modern disposable silicone hydrogels, or the older extended-wear kind? As I understand it, cataracts arose as a side effect of microbial keratitis, and the risks of a severe infection are lower with silicone hydrogels (as well as with disposables in general).

      What sort of eye nutrition do you recommend?

      • Sleeping in any extended wear lenses cuts O2 to the cornea and puts the deeper lens tissue at risk. Even if you feel very comfortable, it has longterm effects apparently.

        Cataracts from microbial action may relate to side effects that reduce moisture on the surface of the eye and that might affect internal fluid balance, I'm not sure. But anything that reduces chance of microbial infection is good. Many people have terrible ocular hygiene practice and no concept of bacteriology or viruses. They do unsafe thi

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