Seeing different colours in each eye

I was sitting in the sun reading a book today when I noticed a phenomenon that I’ve noticed before but never really examined. When I closed my left eye, I saw hues different from the ones I saw when I closed my right eye.

The grass displayed the most striking difference, so I’ll use that as an example. Looking with only my left eye, the grass was a rich emerald green. Through my right eye, it was much more yellowish-brown. When I used both eyes, the hues were much closer to the right-eye view than the left-eye view. I’m right eye dominant, so that makes a certain amount of sense, I guess.

I experimented a bit to eliminate outside factors like angle of sunlight, and the effect was the same no matter what I did. Eventually I resolved to start a General Questions thread about it and settled down with my book. Twenty minutes later the effect had disappeared and each eye delivered the same yellowish-brown hue.

Does this happen to anyone else? What is it? What causes it and why did it disappear?

That happens to me, too. My left eye sees further into the red spectrum, and my right eye can focus better on blue.

I get this all the time in the same circumstances as the OP – when I’m in bright sunlight, and especially when one eye gets more sun than the other. I always assumed that the eye’s sensors were getting oversaturated by the bright light and toned down the response in the over-exposed eye.

Holy cow, I thought I was going crazy when I first noticed this. I’m glad I’m not alone.

My right eye favors blues and greens, while my left eye favors reds.

My WAG is that the cone cells in each eye are not exactly the same, and as such respond slightly differently to the light received. (Maybe because of slight differences in their respective photopsins?)

I would be really interested in hearing an official answer of some type, though. :slight_smile:

I noticed this when I was a child. I could swear I read somewhere that this is pretty standard and is the reason why 3D glasses are made the way they are.

3D glasses are made that way because you want the left eye to get one image, and the right eye to get another image. You can do this through polarization or through different colored lenses. Depth perception is based mostly on the slight differences in the image each eye gets.

(For the record, I see the same colors in each eye.)

That happens to me when one eye gets sun and the other doesn’t.

Where the heck were all of you when I admitted this years ago in a “Dude - what if we all see different colors but we call them the same name?!” thread?

Yeah, I see different colors in each eye. Most noticeable in bright light, dim light or when I’ve had one eye closed and one open for a while, like when I’m lying on my side reading in bed.

This happens to me all the time, in bright sunlight. But it’s nothing like the effect of direct sunlight hitting one of your eyes at 90 degrees from your line of sight, and not hitting the other eye at all. This happened to me once while reading, in the window seat of an airplane, with the sun near the horizon, directly to my left. The result was almost psychedelic.

A few yrs ago I had a mild stroke. I was about 6 weeks recovering. My balance is still not too trustworthy (Walking and such are fine, but my cycling days are over)

A few weeks ago, I had an eye exam. (My frst since the stroke). A standard colour vision test was included, and when the Opthamaligist noticed I had had the stroke, tested each eye independantly.

I am almost unable to perceieve reds in one eye (My left)! It was a total shock, as I had not noticed it on my own in all that time. The doctor said that my brain was compensating by mapping the colour info from one eye onto the image being proccessed by my brain, and that’s why it had gone unnoticed. (What I see in the left eye are dull brownish tones instead of reds)

Now I play left eye/right eye games with patterns (wall paper, fabrics, etc). I look at the item with both eyes, then close my right eye… and watch the reds fade to the brownish colours. Its definitely a “threshold” thing of some sort as I still see reds when they are illuminated (Red LED power light, for example.

Brains is cool things!


This is interesting! In order to find out whether this is some form of colour blindness, I’ve uploaded two slideshows with test slides, one for each eye, in order to prevent ‘remembering’ the correct answer. Do each of those with the other eye covered:

Left Eye

Right Eye

I’ll spoiler the answers someone with normal colour perception would give:

[SPOILER] Left Eye: 56, 6, 8, 5, yellow square and brown circle, boat

Right Eye: 25, 45, 29, 5, brown square and yellow circle, boat[/SPOILER]

This is, obviously, not a clinical test and therefore doesn’t provide any medical evaluation.
Nevertheless, I think comparing the results might be useful.

I scored 100% on both eyes, but then I’m not experiencing the phenomenon right now.

Anyway, we’ve established that I’m not crazy (or if I am, I am at least not alone in my craziness). So, any clues as to the whys, hows and wherefores?

I get “This video requires Flash 9 or higher” in both eyes. Any chance of a link to an actual image file?


Left eye slides:

Right eye slides:

I hope I got the order right…

Thanks, and I’ve seen all of the numeric images before (they’re reasonably popular to reprint), but not the shape-based ones. I have normal color vision, thought my right eye seems to skew very slightly red.

Left Eye
I got, in order: 56…“uhh”…8…5…yellow square, brown circle…sailboat

Right Eye

25…45…89?..8?..brown square, yellow circle, sailboat

Once I read your spoiler and tried it again, the one I didn’t see at all (second of the left series) appeared faintly to me, and the two I was unsure about (3 and 4 of the right series)…yeah, I could go either way on those.

Results are pretty much the same with both eyes open. Some are slightly more obvious with two eyes and some slightly less obvious (in particular, the 4th of the left series is really hard for me to see with two eyes).

Should the yellow/blue slide be clear, or is it normally a little difficult to make out?

I’m talking about the one that says 5


Add me to the list. The view from my left eye seems more blue, the view from my right eye is more red. I once asked my optometrist about this, and he said he’d heard that the view from the dominant eye tends to be more red (although in my case, the left/blue-shifted eye seems to be dominant).

I also notice a difference if one eye has gotten a lot more light than the other. I’ve always attributed this to fatigue, and it corrects itself pretty quickly.

Yeah, I’ve always had this: looking at a sheet of white paper, for example, one eye sees a slight pink which the other sees a slight blue. I’m going to test for the next day or so to see whether it’s always the same sides.