How Do We See Things at Night?

Light is an important variable when we are looking at things. Knowing how our eyes work, we need light to be able to see. The question is how can we see in almost complete darkness if there is no light? People are curious about which part of the eye is responsible for our night vision. The different parts of our eyes work together to let us see in different lighting conditions.

how do we see things at night

What Part of the Eye Is Responsible for Night Vision?

These are the three parts of our eye that help us to see a wide range of lighting condition:

The pupil acts like the aperture of a camera because it expands and contracts for more or less light. The pupil constricts or gets very small when it is being exposed to a bright light to block the amount of light that will reach the retina. The pupil will dilate or open wide when it is in the darkness. You can see this process when you shine a flashlight in someone’s eyes. Do not do it without warning them.

Rod and cone cells are the two different types of cells that we use to be able to see light. The cone cells are responsible for fine detail and color but need bright light. The rod cells can perceive only black and white with poor resolution. Rod cells are sensitive even though the light is very low. The white that can be seen by the rod must be increased 1,000 times for brightness for the cones to be able to see it.

Photopigments are light-sensitive chemicals that can be found in both rods and cones. The rods use rhodopsin which is the key for night vision. Dark adaptation is a process where the eye adjusts to see in low lighting conditions.

how do we see things at night

How to Prepare Your Eyes to See in the Dark?

Our eyes are faster to adapt to bright light than adjusting for the darkness. It will take many hours for total dark adaptation. These are the following tips that can help if you want to speed up the process:

  • Wear sunglasses with a grey tint or any dark lenses. The tint can help to block out the entire visible spectrum. If you are exposed for a few hours in the bright sunlight, your ability to adjust to the darkness is reduced by 10 minutes.
  • Lower the brightness of your gadgets so that your eyes will not adjust much.
  • Never look at bright light directly because doing so may increase the amount of time that your eyes will be needing to adjust in the darkness.
  • Close your eyes and let them adjust naturally.

Take vitamin A, avoid smoking, and wearing sunglasses are tips that can help to preserve your night vision.

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