Glasses and 3-D vision

I got glasses about two years ago and recently I’ve been noticing very strange things when I see certain colors with them on. A certain color of blue, that is very popular on webpages, jumps out at me slightly, while a certain color of red seems to be behind the screen. And a certain color of purple just makes me dizzy and I dont like to look at it. Anybody have an explanation why I see colors these ways when I were my glasses?

That’s freaky, especially the purple. Do you see this effect without your glasses too? Do you see the effect if you only look through one eye? Try the one-eye with and without your glasses.

Artists often talk about certain colors that “come forward” or “recede” so there is a natural tendency for some colors to act the way you describe, particularly if they’re put against certain colors of background. But the effect shouldn’t really be terribly obvious or unpleasant. However, a bad set of colors can be extremely hard to look at, like bright orange text over bright green. That’s just the way visual perception works.

I think I know that purple, it’s harsh, but it doesn’t make me dizzy or anything.

Okay, I’m not an optomitrist or anything, but I have a stab in the dark. I once found that if I looked at the white walls in my house with one eye shut, they appeared a little greenish, and with the other, redish. I talked to my eye doctor and she did a test with some colored numbers in a book. It turns out that I’m slightly color blind, and maybe in your case the glasses magnify the effect, or you need to cut down on the acid :slight_smile:

I’ve experienced effects like this; if I get a book with certain combinations of colour text/background on the cover and move it around in front of me, the text and the back colour appear to move independently of each other.

I wonder if it has anything to do with different amounts of persisitence of vision for the different types of rods/cones in the retina.

As to why you only experience the effect with your glasses on, maybe it’s just that without them there isn’t the same clear delineation between the two different colours (maybe it’s the colour clash at the borders that’s freaking your brain.

Another effect I sometimes experience is, say, looking at a block of red pixels on a blue background, the edges of the red appear darker, as if the blue has bled into the red, although this isn’t the case in reality (in fact it’s sometimes quite hard to look at the edge where the two colours join)

That effect is called “simultaneous contrast of colors” and it’s perfectly normal. It is related to the effect I described about orange/green. It usually is most prominent when you use complementary colors, that is, colors that are opposite on the color wheel (red/green violet/yellow blue/orange etc) but it can work with some colors that are close to opposite (orange/green). This is all obscure techy stuff that is mostly only of use to artists, especially painters. I use this effect constantly in my own artwork.

Anyway, I forgot to ask the OP about his glasses prescription. Do both of your eyes require nearly the same amount of correction in the lenses? Are you nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatic? It’s probably time for as eye exam and new glasses if you haven’t had them tested in the last 2 years.

I know exactly what the OP is talking about – I wear specs too and have experienced the same efdfect with the same colors and boy can it be freaky – and I don’t think it has anything to do with the colors “natural” tendency to advance or recede.

I think it has to do with the anti-glare coating they put on the lenses (slight greenish cast when viwed from the side), or the optical nature of the lens glass.

I wish I could be more specific with my theories but I’m weak in the optics department. All I know is that the effect is so extreme sometimes that I “know” it can’t just be a natural property of some colors; also there are other peculiar color effects that happen when I look at certain color combinations “sideways” through my glasses. All this leads me to say that the cause is in the glasses.

I’m getting this effect too-- but only under certain conditions.

My brand new glasses (anti-glare coating), combined with the clip-on shades (polarized lenses), and the visor on my motorcycle helmet produces strange refractory effects for glare coming off the pavement ahead of me. Strange.

hmmm, not sure about that, the optical coating on lenses works by cancelling out certain wavelengths of the surface reflections (IIRC it does this by exploiting the soap bubble rainbow effect - the coating is just the right thickness that light reflected back from the inner surface (of the coating, not the lens) is just out of phase with the light reflected off the outside, and the two waveforms cancel out) - it should have very little (if any)effect on transmitted light.

The colour effect that you mention when viewing things through your lenses sideways sounds like chromatic abberration; a faint blue outline is seen around one edge of an object and a faint yellow outline is seen around the other edge. (This an unavoidable effect of focusing white light; some wavelengths bend a little more than others as they go through the lens)
Interestingly, the brain quickly adapts to ignore chromatic abberration, also any other distortions, which just goes to show how much of our vision process actually takes place in the brain, not the eyes, which leads me to my point…

…Vision takes place in the brain, because of this, there are a whole bunch of odd effects (some of which are exploited to make optical illusions work) - colour itself is an artifact of perception (the light doesn’t have colours at all, they are just our brain’s way of filling in the details in a useful way) I think the effects we’re discussing here are happening in the brain.

BTW one thing I didn’t mention; I find that some shades of deep blue are actually painful to look at - I’m thinking about the colour of trailing lobelia flowers; my eyes give up trying to focus on and almost involuntarily look away.

I’m slightly nearsighted in both eyes, with an astigmatism in the left eye. The vision in that eye is significantly worse than in the other eye. My right eye sees pretty well and i can almost pass the drivers eye test with it. The left eye though is really weird. I cant even read a book with it. Just looking through it makes me dizzy when i close the good eye. It also sees an outline of any bright object.

I have a ‘lazy’ left eye; basically my brain pretty much ignores the input from it.
People (notably opticians) ask me if things look out of focus or blurred with my left eye, but they aren’t, I just can’t ‘see’ them properly. If I close my right eye, nothing is out of focus or faint or anything, I just can’t see things properly, or rather, I can’t percieve them, expecially writing and faces, it’s weird.