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Posted on 08-09-2016

​I thought it might be both informational and fun to take a quiz about eye dangers to see how you'd do.  So... let's get started (the answers are at the bottom):

​​1. You can't shoot your eye out with a BB gun.
                         ANSWERS BELOW
2. It is possible for a person who is legally blind to read 20/20 print.

3. Farsighted people can always see clearly in the distance, but see poorly up close.

4. If you cross your eyes they can get stuck that way.

5. Which sports cause the most eye injuries each year?
___Basketball and baseball
___Tennis, rqcquetball and squash
___Bicycling and spinning

6. In a pinch, it's okay to use saliva to re-wet your contact lenses.


1. True 
You cannot "shoot your eye out" with a BB gun

Your eyeballs are firmly attached to the optic nerve and extra-ocular eye muscles (6 on each eye). You could hurt yourself - and even go blind - from a BB gun, but the chances of your eye actually coming out of its socket are slim.  It's more likely that you could puncture your eye.  If that happens, you will need an eye surgeon to try to close the wound.

2. True
It is possible for a person who is legally blind to read 20/20 print.

A good example would be a person who has Retinitis Pigmentosa.  When the visual field (how wide a field of vision one has) becomes 20 degrees or less (like looking through a drinking straw), that satisfies one of the definitions of "legal blindness." Therefore, a person with such a narrowed field of view may not be able to walk from one point to another without assistance, but still sit in a chair and, with little head movement, read very small - 20/20 - print.

3.  False
Farsighted people can always see clearly in the distance, but see poorly up close.

​First, the easier definition - Nearsighted.  Nearsighted people see well up close (sometimes print must be VERY close), but are blurred in the distance (sometimes that's not very far away).  They often squint their eyelids together to see better for long distances.  Farsighted people must "work" their focusing muscles to see EVERYWHERE. That "work" is harder to clear images at near than far, but it's still work everywhere. Depending on how farsighted a person is, and how much ability to work/focus those muscles is available (less ability as we age), a farsighted person may see clearly at far and near (still working hard), see clearly at far and blurry at near (still working hard) or see blurry at far and blurry at near (and still working hard).  Farsighted school aged children often pass the eyesight screening test provided in school; another good reason for children to have a thorough, comprehensive exam with an optometrist prior to kindergarten.  Farsighted children have a harder time learning to read... and reading to learn.

4. False
If you cross your eyes they may get stuck that way.

Did your mother ever tell  you that?  Mine did!  Vision therapists actually have patients practice crossing their eyes to help improve their focusing skills.

5. Basketball and baseball.

About 40,000 athletic-related eye injuries occur each year.  Most of the damage is blunt trauma, which happens when something hits you in the eye.  Just about any sport involving a ball, puck, bat, stick, racquet or body contact is high-risk.

Black eyes are common, but broken bones under the eyeball (blow-out fractures) and detached retinas are more serious.  The overwhelming majority of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented.  Talk to your eye doctor about how to guard your eyes while playing a specific sport, to find out if you should wear protective lenses.

​6. False
In a pinch, it's okay to use saliva to re-wet your contact lenses.

Contact lens solution and saline drops are sterile.  Your spit isn't!  In fact, saliva is brimming with bacteria.  Licking your contact lenses could lead to a nasty infection... even a corneal ulcer, blindness or the loss of an eye.  Tap water is NOT a smart substitute either.  Water won't disinfect your lenses, and it too can lead to an infection. You are better off dealing with dry eyes until you can get home to your contact lens solution or reach a store to purchase contact lens solution.  And, yes, always have a back-up pair of glasses with you if you can't drive or function well without your contact lenses.

As usual, I am interested in your comments.  Please write to me at info@drcharm.com. 

Be well,
Dr. Harry J. Charm, Optometrist

Anaheim Hills Family Optometry
6200 E. Canyon Rim. Rd., Suite 101
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807
(714) 998-2020

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