Ophthalmology & Optometry/Spectrum


I was wonder if anyone ever determined that there was something special about the wavelengths that fall within our visible spectrum and why we're not seeing all things in gamma or whatever? Something to do with organic chemistry? I mean living things go a little outside of the human visible spectrum such as dogs which see infrared and bees that see a little ultraviolent, but for the most part it stays within a certain range. Why is that?

hi James,
That is a great question probably no one has a great answer. I would consider rather than 'vision' you consider 'sensors'.  as far as the electromagnetic spectrum #as opposed to sound like hearing or echolocation for bats, whales, etc.# we can 'see' certain wavelengths or colors via chemical reactions generating electrical impulses to get processed.  In the infrared spectrum, for example, we 'feel' the heat rather than see it.  As you said some animals can 'see' ultraviolet, and perhaps some creatures can see other bands.  Maybe even can process some ionizing radiation. who knows?  For creatures I suppose it is all about biochemistry since we are ultimately, whether mechanical or electrical mechanisms, using chemistry of the brain to process.
Keep thinking about what is and could be and you will always learn.
Mitch Axelrod,OD

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod


I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.


Optometrist 19 yrs.

Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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