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  #1  
Old 30 January 2008, 07:27 PM
AdmiralSirJohn
 
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Reading British cataract patients in WW2

I've heard stories about how, back during World War II, British pensioners who had undergone cataract removal surgery were used to assist coastwatches because, as a side effect of having the eye's lens remove, they could see into the near ultraviolet range.

I'd like to know if this is true, and if modern lens replacements have the same benefit/drawback.
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  #2  
Old 30 January 2008, 07:56 PM
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DemonWolf DemonWolf is offline
 
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Wolf

Why would being ableto see into those bands help them on a coastwatch? I would think that their eyesight would still be a bit poor that that their visual range would be somewhat impaired.
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  #3  
Old 30 January 2008, 07:58 PM
AdmiralSirJohn
 
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The given reason was to look out for German submarines that were signalling agents with UV lights.

I know, it doesn't make much sense, but then, some of the stuff they actually did sounded rather wonky...
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Old 30 January 2008, 08:51 PM
Ajay
 
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I don't know if the war stories are true (although I can imagine a military desperate to avoid invasion investigating every possible advantage).

There's a biology professor, William Stark Ph.D., who says he can see "near" UV light in one eye after cataract surgery. He has a page about human UV vision.
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  #5  
Old 30 January 2008, 08:57 PM
AdmiralSirJohn
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajay View Post
There's a biology professor, William Stark Ph.D., who says he can see "near" UV light in one eye after cataract surgery. He has a page about human UV vision.
I've read that page, but I can't remember where else I heard about it. I know it goes back a lot further than that.
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  #6  
Old 30 January 2008, 08:59 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Never heard of changes in the eye increasing the range of colors of light that can be seen. (Human eyes can't see into the UV.) There are ceratinly many conditions that reduce the range of colors the eyes can see.

UV light, particulary UVB, causes cataracts.
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  #7  
Old 30 January 2008, 09:02 PM
AdmiralSirJohn
 
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Actually, according to the page Ajay lists, the blue receptors in the human eye can see ultraviolet, but the lens (and to some extent, the cornea) filters it out.
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