Colorblind, or Bad Monitor?
January 8, 2005 10:45 PM   Subscribe

I think I'm having vision trouble, but I can't tell...(MI)

Everyone who has looked at my laptop screen in the last 2 weeks has said that the entire left half of the screen is tinted dark red. I thought it was a massive practical joke for a while, but people assure me it's not. I literally cannot see it at all. The screen looks uniformly normal to me and there is no tint of any kind of the left side. I totally sure I know what red looks like and I can tell it about from green and brown and whatnot, but I cannot see anything on my screen like whats being pointed out to me. Are there certain kinds of colorblindness like this? Have my eyes somehow acclimated to my monitor's ills? How to explain this to an optometrist?
posted by Slimemonster to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Have you had a speaker on the left side of your computer for awhile?
posted by interrobang at 11:04 PM on January 8, 2005

Response by poster: I have not had any speakers.
posted by Slimemonster at 11:09 PM on January 8, 2005

Sincerely, Slimemonster - why are you asking us? Go see an eyedoctor.

counting down the moments until someone posts that colour blindness test .swf here
posted by seawallrunner at 11:11 PM on January 8, 2005

Response by poster: and If theres something wrong with the monitor, I'm kinda fine with that, I'm just going crazy about why I can't see red anymore.
posted by Slimemonster at 11:12 PM on January 8, 2005

Here's how to prove it to yourself if it's true or not: take a picture of it with a maximized Notepad, sample the colors from each side and check if the red value is higher on the left. Then try other tricks to get yourself to see it like playing with the brightness and contrast until it becomes visible, inverting the colors (so it'll be black and bluish black instead of white and reddish white) etc. It also wouldn't hurt to print it out to make sure the problem isn't unique to glowing screens . After that, see an optometrist - basically, seems like you have a specific but strong color problem that happens to correspond exactly to the way your screen broke. "Lucky" you ;)
posted by abcde at 11:30 PM on January 8, 2005

Your eye WILL adjust to tint problems or changes on your monitor, if it happens slowly over time. I switched to a two-monitor setup on me peecee awhile ago and the first day was startled at the yellow hue across my entire old monitor and the blue tint in the lower corner; I honestly never saw them at all until it was side-by-side with another monitor.
posted by wolftrouble at 11:43 PM on January 8, 2005

You could hold the laptop screen upside down, mabye your eyes adjusted to the way the screen shows up.

Then go see a doctor.
posted by sebas at 12:15 AM on January 9, 2005

If you can't read the symbols on this web page, on the left or right sides of the screen, with either eye (cover one eye, then the other):

Ishihara test for colorblindness

then you may want to see an eye doctor.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:08 AM on January 9, 2005

When you walk in a supermarket, do you notice that everything is tinted way green? Nope, but flourescent lights do that.

It's not noticeable, because your mind has learned to color correct it, unless you take a picture and then take a look outside.

I suggest you do the same thing here. Not a screenshot. Take a picture of your screen and then print that out. Your problem could be that your mind simply adjusted.

On the other hand.... This sounds like color blindness to me. So I would check Alex's link as well. My father is a commercial artist, and only knew he was color-blind when clients started asking him why he colored a sweater red instead of green like asked. He labelled his colors to get around it.
posted by xammerboy at 9:48 AM on January 9, 2005

xammerboy: So all those supermarket scenes in movies are retinted?
posted by abcde at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2005

abdce -- they usually use color corrected lamps in the fixtures for those scenes.
posted by macadamiaranch at 12:03 PM on January 9, 2005

Also N.B. that it's possible to be colorblind to certain colors and yet still be able to perceive them - for instance, you may have no receptors for "red" and yet your mind still generates the qualia for red when it determines by other means. So with partial colorblindness, often no part of your experience is lost (you do get to experience the feeling of "red"), it's just inaccurate.
posted by abcde at 7:32 PM on January 9, 2005

for instance, you may have no receptors for "red" and yet your mind still generates the qualia for red when it determines by other means

Well, there aren't any receptors "for red", there are receptors sensitive to certain wavelengths that contribute to our inference of red. I'm sympathetic to what you say about colorblindness not involving the loss of a type of experience, but it's far from settled. (I also object to the use of the term 'qualia', but that's neither here nor there!) But yeah, for Slimemonster's purposes, it's worth noting that many colorblind people don't realize they're colorblind for a long time... just because you have lived a life thinking you could see red and green just fine doesn't mean you're not colorblind! I asked an AskMe about this here (and you know this, abcde, because you responded!).

Slimemonster, if everyone else can see the dark red and you can't, even with prodding, then it doesn't sound to me like you just adapted to the change. It might be some sort of protanopia or anomalous trichromacy or something, but of course, this is something you should be tested for.
posted by painquale at 9:58 PM on January 9, 2005

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