Can Human Eyes Glow in the Dark?
You’re driving down the canyon in the dark, and your headlights suddenly catch a few bright eyes up ahead that seem to be glowing in the dark. You quickly realize you’re passing by a few deer on the side of the road that you would have missed if it wasn’t for their bright eyes staring back at you. While we have witnessed many mammals, insects, reptiles, and more with what looks like glowing eyes, have you ever thought about your own eyes? Can human eyes glow in the dark?
What Makes Eyes Glow in Various Animals?
Many animals possess tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see better in the dark. This reflective surface is situated behind the retina and acts like a mirror as it reflects light. When light enters the eye, it usually hits photoreceptors in the retina. The light that misses those photoreceptors hits the tapetum lucidum, reflecting that extra light, giving it another chance to hit those receptors and lighten the landscape for its owner to see.
When some of that light is reflected, this is when you get that “glowing” eye appearance. This eyeshine can vary in color because of the different mineral content and configuration of the tapetum lucidum in various animal species and breeds.
Why Don’t Human Eyes Glow in the Dark?
Our eyes are pretty bad at night without the help of light. We can’t see in a dark cave or darkroom at all if there is no light source helping us out. Why is this, and can human eyes “glow” in the dark like many other mammals? Unfortunately, humans lack the ever-important reflective surface called the tapetum lucidum that allows many animals to see what’s around them in the dark. Wouldn’t it be great to have the night vision of an owl or a frog? Our electricity bill would sure benefit!
A disease that Causes Eyes to Glow
It sounds cool to have glowing eyes! In reality, when we’re talking about humans, glowing eyes can indicate some pretty alarming diseases that can result in vision loss when left untreated.
For instance, glowing white or gold eyes can be a symptom of cataracts, retinal detachment, or other retina issues. Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer that grows in the eyes of young children and is among the scariest diseases related to “glowing eyes.”
Don’t Wait to Ask for Advice
The most important thing to know is that waiting to ask advice about recently noted “glowing eyes” in yourself or loved ones can be a mistake that you will come to regret, possibly for a lifetime. So schedule an eye exam and find out more information about keeping your eyes and vision healthy.
We are ready to help with any kind of questions or concerns you may have, like “can human eyes glow in the dark”? Educating yourself with professional advice can ease your mind and get you the help you may need.