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What is the Photoreceptor?

Eye doctors in Miami are often asked how people are able to perceive colors. The answer to this question is complex, but it can be summed up in ways that are easy for the average person to understand. The retina is located in the back of the eye, which is the part that sends electrical signals to the brain. It’s also the part of the eye that contains photoreceptors known as rods and cones. These rods and cones are what give people the ability to distinguish colors normally. If someone is color blind or unable to see certain colors, then it’s likely because they have abnormal photoreceptors, or rods and cones, in their retina. Your eye doctor in Miami Beach will be able to explain more about how the retina is able to receive light, if you wish to ask them about that part of the visual process.

Photoreceptors Distinguish Colors

In order for people to be able to see normally, they must have the correct amount of rods and cones in their retina. A Miami eye doctor will be able to run some tests to determine if someone has a color perception deficiency or not.

● There are around 120 million rods in someone’s retina, all of which are more sensitive to light than the cones.

● The cones in someone’s eyes, which number around 6-7 million, are responsible for color perception more than light/dark perception.

● The cones are more present in the central part of the retina, known as the macula, where they are surrounded by the numerous rods.

The Colors Perceived by the Photoreceptors

Many people are shocked when their doctor tells them that the photoreceptors in their retina are only capable of perceiving red, blue, and green hues. These are the most basic color categories that every other color can be created from. For example, if someone is looking at a yellow object, it’s because the red and green photoreceptors are blending to allow someone to see it that way. The rods and cones work in conjunction with each other to allow people to perceive the color they are actually looking at. If it weren’t for the retina and all of the photoreceptors located in it, people would be unable to see things the way they do today. Wearing eyeglasses in Miami Beach will not help someone with a color perception deficiency, but new glasses are being developed that can help people with certain types of color blindness.

photo credit: Closeup of Girl’s Eye via photopin (license)