8 – Eye Fact and Fiction with Sam

billiard ball with an eight


It’s Day 8 of the Perfectly Honest Countdown!

Hey, Dr. Sam O’Brien here. I’m an ophthalmologist, an eye physician and surgeon, and I thought I’d test your knowledge with a fact vs. fiction quiz about eyes.




wall eye chartSitting too close to the television or computer screen will damage your vision.

Not true. Your eyes may feel more tired, but you can fix that by giving them a rest. Nothing harmful to your vision.


Reading in the dark will weaken your eyesight.

Another myth. It may be harder to see, but it won’t weaken your eyes.


Children don’t need an eye exam until they start school.

False. Children can have eye problems such near-sightedness or far-sightedness, crossed eyes (strabismus) where the eyes don’t line up with each other or look in the same direction, or lazy eyes (amblyopia) where one eye doesn’t see as well as the other. These need treatment as early as possible so that a child doesn’t end up with lifelong vision problems. At birth to 3 months, the red reflex should be checked, alignment noted at 6-12 months, and visual acuity measured with an eye chart at 3-5 years. But don’t wait if you have a concern. As a side note – sitting close to the TV isn’t harmful, but it may be a sign that a child needs glasses.


picture of a fishermanstock photo champagneEyeglasses can be used as safety glasses.

No, big no. You tend to turn your head as a reflex to an object flying toward your eyes and eyeglasses don’t protect the sides. Wear proper eye protection with home repairs, yard work, and sports. High risk are baseball, basketball, boxing, and racquet sports (tiny ball the size of the eye). In baseball, ice hockey and lacrosse, a helmet with a polycarbonate facemask should be worn. In the USA, fishing was the number one cause of sport related eye injury. All those flying hooks! And safety first when you’re celebrating the win – cover the top of the champagne bottle with a towel so the cork doesn’t fly into an eye.


I can wet my contact lenses with a bit of saliva.

Nope, not sterile. Don’t do it.


Water is clean enough to store contact lenses in a pinch.

Not true. Contact lenses should not be rinsed or stored in water. You should remove lenses before going swimming or getting into a hot tub, too.


Costume lenses are dangerous.

Yes! Contact lenses are medical devices that need to be measured for a proper fit to avoid (potentially irreversible) damage to the cornea. Costume lenses are available without a prescription and aren’t fitted for your eye. And costume lenses that cover the whole eye don’t allow enough oxygen to the tissues – big problem.


picture of a pair of eyeglasses


What’s the most common cause of vision loss in the world?

Near and far-sightedness. Donate your old glasses to be re-used in countries where eyeglasses aren’t affordable.




There you go – 8 facts for Day 8 of the Perfectly Honest Countdown! Be active and have fun – but protect your eyes. Stop by tomorrow for a special invitation! You don’t want to miss the party! Oh – and don’t forget to sign up for Linda’s newsletter – Let’s e-talk – to enter to win those prizes. I was thinking Mikaela would like a set of those Cards by Karen to keep in touch with her good friend Margo or her mom. Maybe I’ll go sign up for that newsletter too!