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Followup: Ultraviolet Vision After Cataract Surgery

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the sounds-like-a-fun-upgrade dept.

Medicine 311

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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311 comments

Cool (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39033953)

Can you see through clothes?

Re:Cool (4, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034329)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034341)

Can you see through clothes?

It's like being able to spit 100 yards, what good would that be?

OMG lol.

Re:Cool (4, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034503)

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:Cool (3, Informative)

fuzzfuzz (881119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034539)

"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.

Re:Cool (1)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034851)

"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.

Re:Cool (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034637)

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.

Re:Cool (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034939)

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 teeth and the random glowing t-shirts and socks, whereas he sees everything else.

Can you read this? (5, Funny)

Pirulo (621010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39033979)



If you can't read the line above. Then you don't have UV vision.

Re:Can you read this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034059)

you fail it.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034073)

What an awesome super power!

Re:Can you read this? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034175)


If you can't read the line above. Then you don't have UV vision.

I can read it, and my answer is: you lose, Anonymous Coward was 1 minute faster than you!

Re:Can you read this? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034203)

can anyone tell me what the poster above wrote? I can't seem to be able to read it :p

Re:Can you read this? (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034361)

can anyone tell me what the poster above wrote? I can't seem to be able to read it :p

He wrote his /. password. Apparently it is made invisible when posted.

Re:Can you read this? (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034403)

Did you know when you post your slashdot password, slashdot knows and puts in all ********* instead to protect you? Neat, you should try it! No really, its awesome!

Re:Can you read this? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034603)

Did you know when you post your slashdot password, slashdot knows and puts in all ********* instead to protect you? Neat, you should try it! No really, its awesome!

Wow! Well, then you can go hunter2 my hunter2-ing hunter2!

Come back... (4, Informative)

Brannoncyll (894648) | more than 2 years ago | (#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... (4, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#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... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034205)

Is it just hearing HIV+? Or is it full blown hearing AIDS?

Re:Come back... (4, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Come back... (2)

fruitbane (454488) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034667)

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.

Re:Come back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034131)

Sonic motion detectors frequently drive me crazy.

Re:Come back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034151)

Amen...the worst offenders for me are the "silent" alarms. They had one in my middle school and I got sent to the principal's office because I covered my ears when it went off and the teacher thought I was being disrespectful.

Re:Come back... (2)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034259)

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... (4, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034377)

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.

Re:Come back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034567)

I have the same symptoms. Tinnitus + sensitivity to loud sounds + able to hear the annoying ultra-sonic car alarm (not all, just the ones that are near 20kHz) and TV tubes. My tinnitus began after an uncle of mine tried to light a firework and it blew right there, instead of taking flight. I was 6yo at the time. I am actually schedule to see an otologist because of the tinnitus.
Funny enough, the tinnitus seems pretty loud, but I still can hear very quiet sounds and my tests are all normal for sensitivity.

Re:Come back... (1)

robably (1044462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034867)

I'm 38 and had the same symptoms as you (tinnitus in my left ear, ability to hear high-pitched sounds) until early last year when I found I was losing the ability to hear high pitched sounds because I could no longer hear the Mosquito [wikipedia.org] alarm. I consider it quite a sad loss. There's an Animal Collective album called Danse Manatee that has plenty of high-pitched sounds on it, and I know I'm missing something when I listen to it now. Again, my tinnitus started with a physical injury to the ear.

Re:Come back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034893)

Tinnitus is the ear's "phantom limb" pain. There are treatments available.

Re:Come back... (2)

Alioth (221270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034483)

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)

Re:Come back... (2)

twotacocombo (1529393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034261)

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...

Re:Come back... (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034363)

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:Come back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034425)

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...

You can't hear anything when you're dead. Old age will slowly take you toward this final destination.

Re:Come back... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034449)

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 electronic sounds are something I pick up pretty readily. Maybe I'm just more aware of those kinds of noises.

Though, I've certainly been driven out of rooms because fluorescent light fixtures are emitting what I consider an annoying whine when almost nobody else seems to hear it. Still not sure of why that would be ... as I said, my hearing tests come out pretty standard with the usual high frequency loss for someone in his 40's.

Re:Come back... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034401)

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.

Re:Come back... (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034439)

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.

Re:Come back... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034495)

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

Re:Come back... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034927)

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.

Re:Come back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034719)

...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.

As someone who has a hearing sensitivity beyond the standard, please, whisper quieter, and what is so damned interesting about my hair in the first place?

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

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

human eye lenses are naturally yellow/brown (5, Interesting)

waterbear (190559) | more than 2 years ago | (#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-

Re:human eye lenses are naturally yellow/brown (2)

philpalm (952191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034153)

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.

Re:human eye lenses are naturally yellow/brown (3, Informative)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034313)

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.

Re:human eye lenses are naturally yellow/brown (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034823)

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

Re:human eye lenses are naturally yellow/brown (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034679)

I'm a solar astronomer. The Ca II K line at 3933A is important to us in order to view the solar chromosphere. Twenty years ago I could see this line just fine (with a suitable filter). Now at 54 I can no longer see it. Of course for our purposes we use digital cameras anyway, so we can treat this line just as we treat other UV or IR wavelengths. Still, it would be nice to be able to _see_ it again.

Be a Bee! Add polarized contact lenses! (4, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034019)

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!

Re:Be a Bee! Add polarized contact lenses! (3, Interesting)

RDW (41497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034109)

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

Re:Be a Bee! Add polarized contact lenses! (4, Interesting)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Be a Bee! Add polarized contact lenses! (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034707)

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.

Re:Be a Bee! Add polarized contact lenses! (1, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034179)

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 between six major categories of color, including yellow, blue-green, blue, violet, and ultraviolet. They also see a color known as "bee's purple," a mixture of yellow and ultraviolet. Differentiation is not equally good throughout the range and is best in the blue-green, violet and bee's purple colors."

Source: http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/ahb/inf6.html [arizona.edu]

Re:Be a Bee! Add polarized contact lenses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034231)

Cool, so Bee's don't need 3D glasses to watch Avatar?

Re:Be a Bee! Add polarized contact lenses! (1)

GonzoPhysicist (1231558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034675)

Most cephalopods see the polarization of light as well, but they are colorblind so that's not much fun.

Did it remove ability at the "red" end ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034087)

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

Try Some Astronomy (5, Interesting)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 2 years ago | (#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! (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#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

Re:Curses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034879)

Darklight,

Your secret identity as "flyingsquid" has been revealed. Perhaps it is time to give up the calamari, sink your secret fishing boat and flood the secret lair and swim into a secret crevasse and hide for a while. Beware the Xmas Avengers who are surely after you now...

I don't know if I can "see" UV... (2)

FFOMelchior (979131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034149)

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.

Re:I don't know if I can "see" UV... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034343)

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 (depending on how my astigmatism is behaving)

Re:I don't know if I can "see" UV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034537)

this about sums up my situation. Since I was about 10, I started getting a lot of headaches. Bad ones. It wasn't until my parents bought me a decent set of UV filtered, polarized sunglasses I realized it was the sunlight that was causing the problem.

The problem focusing on UV or high-blue lights is really annoying. My friends thought I was crazy. I know I always try to buy things with red lights, its annoying everything comes with blue these days.

Re:I don't know if I can "see" UV... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034713)

" 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.

Win a tibanna gas mining facility (1, Offtopic)

pullarius1 (2574281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034161)

Lando lost Cloud City in a game of Sabaac to a Hutt who had marked the cards with ultraviolet pigment.

Quite the write-up (5, Funny)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034169)

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.

Re:Quite the write-up (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034435)

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

Do white flowers look differently? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034233)

Do white flowers look differently? I've heard that there are "other"
patterns that we (humans) can't see, but insects can due to their
ability to see more of the UV spectrum...

Why the skepticism? (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034277)

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?

Re:Why the skepticism? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034407)

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 from fooling with a prospector / geologist blacklight that some detergents glow brilliantly in UV. So its not beyond the realm of possibility that you can see underclothes glowing thru an non glowing outer layer.

Finally have you started UV grafitti yet and/or do you know of a UV responsive paint that only you can see, in other words its pretty clear above 400 nm and looks (purple, I assume?) to you? This might not be a paint, but maybe an obscure poly finish that only you can see, or ... something.

Is this a good thing, or bad thing? (2)

buckeyeguy (525140) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034309)

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.

Tetrachromat question (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034375)

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 like it's somehow able to work with whatever input is available to it, where this input is a random messy combination of input signals from a whole retina full of cells of N different types...

Maybe the brain somehow figures out that certain cells send signals only in certain colored lighting conditions, and make something out of that? But I also thought that the retina already does some processing of the signals from the cells, so how is that one able to do it correctly even if someone has 4 types of cells? Is its processing color independent maybe?

Re:Tetrachromat question (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034833)

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.)

My brother can see infrared (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

I don't think this is a good thing. (4, Informative)

dohnut (189348) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:I don't think this is a good thing. (2)

ClosedEyesSeeing (1278938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034625)

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.

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034447)

How long it will take for procedures like this to become commonplace.

Perhaps not this EXACT thing, but basic upgrades to human capabilities through modern medicine. Currently, most upgrades are in place to correct deficiencies. From Lasik to prosthetic limbs, hearing aids to hair plugs... we limit ourselves to only restoring the "norm." Even most plastic surgeries are only trying to attain the looks we had in our youth. I guess a boob-job would count as an upgrade, but that's still in the realm of normal (for the most part) while something like UV bias is completely foreign to most humans.

I can't wait for all the slippery-slope discussions once people start going under the knife for routine upgrades. "I've got a doctors appointment this afternoon to get my spinal reinforcements tightened and my xray vision re calibrated to focus on double-X chromosome subjects."

My Father's Cataract Surgery (2)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:My Father's Cataract Surgery (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034905)

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. :)

"Normal" vision is very subjective (4, Interesting)

joneil (677771) | more than 2 years ago | (#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. :)

Re:"Normal" vision is very subjective (4, Interesting)

Spectre (1685) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034741)

Umm, are you saying that UV lights are not supposed to be bright purple..?

I avoid looking at them in clubs, raves, etc. because they're shine too bright and I know UV is harmful.

I dunno what to think now. Never had an eye surgery... I need to test this thing.

My oldest saw infrared as a baby (1)

stephathome (1862868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034767)

When my oldest was a baby, she reacted strongly to infrared light. My husband tried to get some video of her sleeping in a very dark room, dark hall behind him, no light anywhere. The infrared from the camera woke her up, and she covered her eyes and cried. She was only a few months old at the time, but it was very clear that the infrared was bothering her quite a bit. I have no idea if she can still do that, have to test it sometime.

Higher order diffraction (1)

burningcpu (1234256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034805)

What 'color' does the light appear to be? Does it appear to be red/reddish? Monochromators pass higher order diffraction. When set to 350nm, 700nm light passes through as well. Also, you should stop shining UV light into your eyes. It is very damaging.

I didn't get U/V vision... (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034835)

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!!!

uv security camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034881)

I remember a security camera at wendys which would show some peoples black jackets as being purple and other black objects such as computers as black. It must have been more sensitive to the UV spectrum than a normal camera.

Retinal cancer risk (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034895)

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.
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