What is the name of a phenomenon where one of the human eyes is seeing brighter/more saturated color than the other? I can observe the same object from the same position while alternating which eye is closed, and there's a visible difference in the saturation of color. Like one color is more pale than the other.

Here's an example of what the difference looks like between image perceived by two eyes:

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question; I've also noticed this but it's been that way my entire life. 🤷‍♂️ $\endgroup$
    – Jason C
    Nov 16, 2020 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


here is forum discussing similar effect ,

where as similar problem which leads to double vision is single eye is called monocular Diplopia.

There are two possible causes discussed in that forum. One is a cataract or an early indication of a cataract, for which a vision specialist visit is recommended.

Another solution is much simpler one of the pupils is more dilated than the other:

The way your eyes see colors changes throughout the day, not dependent only on external conditions. Try this: gently press the palm of your hand against one eye (closed), for about a minute; leave the other eye open during this time (feel free to blink, of course...). Now, look at the world with one eye covered (for a couple of seconds), then the other — the eye you help closed will see things as quite more saturated, partly because you've fostered its pupil to dilate in the time during which it was shut. I recall being confused by this when I first started noticing that, upon awaking, either eye would see colors differently from the other; simply, the eye rested on the mattress would be seeing colors with greater saturation.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you add some details to your answer useful to the questioner, in case that link goes away in the future? $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Jul 11, 2013 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ I also noticed this phenomenon after laying on a mattress with one side of my head against the mattress. I don't recall which side had most brightness, but the answer sounds correct $\endgroup$
    – Alex Stone
    Jul 11, 2013 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ So is it because our eye needs time to adjust back to the standard brightness or is it connecting to the "pressing"? (I suspect covering the eye is sufficient) $\endgroup$
    – Probably
    Dec 9, 2017 at 8:26

The phenomenon in question is anisochromatopsia, however this term is rarely used. This phenomenon is always present, however it is rarely mentioned subjectively, while objective color testing will reveal it easily.

In pathologic state, the term Color Desaturation is being used defining that the previous status of color vision has changed to "abnormal" one. The causes to this change could be multiple, for example the most common one Optic neuritis in Multiple sclerosis.


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