The Dress Debate: Eye Doctors Across The Nation Weigh In On What Color Is The Dress

The Dress Eye Exams

The dress debate has been taking over social media. It’s also been brought up to several optometrists and ophthalmologists across the nation. It has people arguing whether it is white and gold or blue and black? A woman posted a photo of the dress on Tumblr on Thursday night, saying that her and her friends were arguing over the actual color of the dress. The photo of the dress has not only caused disagreements among friends and family, but it’s also bringing up importance of ocular health.

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The dress is actually blue and black, but why are some people seeing it as white and gold? Ophthalmologist Dr. Matt Rouse explains the reason why some people are seeing the dress in white and gold.

“Our brain uses all of its context clues, and says,’Well, maybe there’s some background changes there.’ Something called luminents, and luminents, are the way that light comes from the background, as well as how it reflects off of what you’re looking at.”

Dr. Rouse says that your brain can change the way you can see objects and pictures.

“And so some people say, ‘That’s a light background, and there’s a lot of light coming in there, must be low reflectivity in that dress. It must be blue and black.’ And some people say, ‘Well this is sort of a dark background, and it’s not reflecting very much. I see white and gold.’ So it depends on your perspective as to what you’re seeing, and your past experiences. Maybe you’ve seen patterns that look like that and your brain just fills in the gap.”

OSHU professor of ophthalmology, Michael F. Chiang, explained to Oregon Live that the dress debacle has more to do with visual perception.

“If you look at the picture it looks like there’s a shadow cast in front of it. I think what’s happening is some people are looking at this and perceiving that it’s in a dark area and there are some who are looking at it and mentally perceiving that it’s in a bright area.”

Dr. Jennifer Caudle, board-certified family physician and assistant professor at Rowan University, also noted that color blindness and medical conditions can greatly affect the visual perception and color interpretation. Medication and age are also factors when it comes to seeing things differently.

“Another big factor is how our brains perceive information. This is a very complex process that is dependent on many variables and is different for everyone. It can also cause different interpretations of color for different people.”

Something that’s more important than the dress debate is having a regular eye exam. The Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic says that it’s important to see your eye doctor on a regular basis. Dr. Thomas Harvey says that people, even those with healthy vision, should visit every couple of years for a checkup.

“It’s hard to tell how the eye health is just by living, much like blood pressure. You don’t know when it’s out of wack until it’s too late. And, with vision people need to sure that there’s no problem with a thing like glaucoma or elevated eye pressure.”

There are some conspiracy theorists that think the dress debate is a hoax. There’s an image floating around the Internet that shows two women wearing a white and gold and blue and black version of the dress, according to a recent Inquisitr report. But Roman Originals, the company that manufactures and sells the dress, already confirmed that the dress comes in blue and black only.

What is your opinion on the dress debate? Do you think it’s an elaborate marketing scheme or a result of Photoshop?

[Image: orangefan_2011/Flickr]