Seeing with Different Types of Vision

Laser eye surgery is a safe and effective way to see clearly without glasses or contacts. But while we have the experience, equipment, and knowledge to improve people’s vision, there is an innate limit to what we can achieve. We can fix near and farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia and can even replace the lenses in your eye with IOLs (intraocular lenses). But even with these incredible optical advancements, we can only improve sight across the visible spectrum.

The Visible Spectrum

Our human eyes see light across something called the visible spectrum. This spectrum consists of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths sized from 380 to 740 nanometres. But the entire electromagnetic spectrum has wavelengths that span from 1 picometre (one trillionth of a metre) all the way to 100,000 kilometres! Our eyes can see only a sliver of this entire range, but what would it be like if we were able to expand our vision into higher and lower frequencies?

Ultraviolet Vision

Ultraviolet light has wavelengths shorter than ultraviolet light, making them invisible to the human eye. However, some animals like bees can see them! Ultraviolet light helps bees locate and identify the most nectar-rich flowers.

Mimulus nectar guide UV” under license CC-BY SA 3.0

Even though we can’t see ultraviolet rays, we do experience them in different ways as they are responsible for sunburns. Prolonged eye exposure to ultraviolet rays can even cause a sunburn on your cornea called photokeratitis, along with other eye issues. Make sure you slather on the sunscreen and throw on your sunglasses before heading out for a fun day in the sun.

Want to See in Ultraviolet Light?

If you’ve ever used a blacklight, the experience is similar to what it would be like to have ultraviolet vision. Colours would pop, and electronic gadgets would brighten up. Modern telescopes take photographs in the ultraviolet spectrum. The bright photos you see of galaxies are most likely taken with ultraviolet vision.

Infrared Vision

On the opposite side of the visible spectrum, wavelengths are too large for our eyes to process. This range of wavelengths includes microwaves, radio waves and infrared. You might be familiar with infrared vision already through its association with thermal imaging. The infrared radiation of an object is directly related to the heat it emits. The hotter the object, the brighter it looks. Night vision has been developed using infrared radiation as well.

While seeing in infrared vision would enhance your ability to see in the dark, it would also limit the number of colours you would see in the light. Imagine seeing a field of different flowers of all colours covering the visible spectrum. If you had infrared vision, all of the colours would be the same as they would all have similar temperatures.

We might not be able to give you ultraviolet or infrared vision, but with laser eye surgery we can help you see the visible spectrum clearly. For many, this as much of a superpower as x-ray or infrared vision. To start your journey to crystal clear vision, contact BoydVision for a free consultation.