4 Critical Facts about Color Vision from Park Ophthalmology

Park 03-23-15 Stuart Miles fdpThe Internet and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ lit up recently over a discussion involving a picture of a dress that some people saw as gold and white while others saw blue and black. The photograph demonstrated some interesting scientific facts about how humans perceive color. With her educational and professional experience in Ophthalmology, Beth R. Friedland M.D. of Park Ophthalmology was not surprised that the photo created such a stir. Dr. Friedland understands why people sometimes see the same object as different colors.

Here are four facts about human color perception:

  • Eye structure: Cells at the back of the eye, the retina, allow humans to perceive different colors. Cells calls rods help distinguish light from dark while cones interpret light waves as green, red or blue. There are about six million cones in a human retina.
  • Color blindness: About eight percent of men and less than one percent of women are color blind, meaning they cannot distinguish among certain colors. Color blindness is often inherited. A person who has trouble distinguishing between colors may lack receptor cones for one color.
  • Testing: Park Ophthalmology can easily test patients for their color perception. Parents who suspect that their children might be having trouble with color vision should get them tested. The patient will view several cards that contain images made from colored dots. The patient’s ability to distinguish the images helps Dr. Friedland know whether there is a deficit in color perception.
  • Comparisons: Scientists have discovered that some animals don’t see the range of colors that humans do. Cats and dogs cannot perceive a human’s range of color, although they do have better vision in low light conditions than do humans. Bees and butterflies, however, can perceive more colors than humans. They can see ultraviolet light, an ability they use to detect ultraviolet patterns in the flowers they pollinate.

Dr. Friedland always helps her patients understand how human vision works and what treatments are available to provide the best vision possible. Whenever you notice any changes to your vision, contact Park Ophthalmology to schedule an eye examination.


Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: jenny.brfeyecare@ncrrbiz.com.

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Photo: arztsamui, freedigitalphotos.net