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Quiz: Eye Fact or Fiction

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Only boys can be color-blind.

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Only boys can be color-blind.

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  • Correct Answer:

Explanation: Boys are more likely to be color-blind than girls. Estimates are that at least one in every 12 boys has some level of color blindness. But girls can be color-blind, too. It only happens in about one of every 200 girls.

 

In most cases, color blindness doesn't mean that you can't see any color. Instead, you have trouble telling the difference between certain colors, usually red and green. There is also blue-yellow color blindness, but it's much rarer. And a very few people are truly color-blind, a condition called monochromacy.

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Two parents with brown eyes could have a blue-eyed child.

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Two parents with brown eyes could have a blue-eyed child.

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Explanation: It was once thought that eye color was a "single gene" trait -- a choice between one eye color or another. And that brown eyes were always dominant over blue eyes.

 

But more recent genetic research has proven that wrong. Eye color is actually controlled by several genes -- at least eight that we know of. So it's not just one color vs. another. Because eye color is influenced by this combination of genes, two brown-eyed parents can, indeed, produce a blue-eyed child. And it's also why two blue-eyed parents can have a child with green or brown eyes.

Eye color can't change after you're a baby.

Eye color can't change after you're a baby.

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  • Correct Answer:

Explanation: Yes, most babies are born with gray or blue eyes that can change color over the course of a year. And by about age 6, most people have the eye color they will have for the rest of their life. But, while not common, some people have changes in eye color when they're teenagers or even young adults.

 

Research shows this may happen in between 3% and 8% of young people. And it is probably genetically determined -- if a family member's eyes did the same thing, it is more likely to happen to you, too.

Everyone has a blind spot.

Everyone has a blind spot.

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Explanation: Even people with perfect vision have a "blind spot" -- a "blank" area in your field of vision. We usually don't notice it because our brains automatically "fill in" the area of the blind spot with what we would expect to see there. Some people's blind spots are bigger than others, but it's thought all mammals have them because of the way our eyes are built.

You can catch a cold through your eyes.

You can catch a cold through your eyes.

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  • Correct Answer:

Explanation: Touching someone who's sick or a germ-covered surface (like a doorknob), and then touching your eyes or nose is one of the most common ways to catch a cold. Cold viruses travel easily through a duct that connects your eyes to your nasal cavity and the throat -- where it can cause infection. To cut down on your chances of catching a cold, avoid touching your face, or wash your hands before you do.

You can lose a contact lens behind your eyeball.

You can lose a contact lens behind your eyeball.

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  • Correct Answer:

Explanation: Contact lenses cannot slip behind the surface of your eye and back into your head. The area between your eyelid and eye is enclosed in a pouch called the conjunctival sac. Your contact lens can't get farther than that closed sac under your eyelid. Flushing your eye with saline solution can usually help you retrieve an out-of-place lens.

Wearing glasses regularly will make your eyes weaker.

Wearing glasses regularly will make your eyes weaker.

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Explanation: You may have heard that wearing prescription glasses regularly will weaken your eyesight, but that isn't true. Your eyesight changes as you get older, but that would happen whether or not you wore the glasses. So you can't wear your glasses "too much."

 

Although wearing them will not improve your underlying eyesight problem, it will improve your vision, helping you see better while they're on! Getting the right glasses can also help prevent headaches people get from eyestrain.

You see spots after looking at a bright light because you:

You see spots after looking at a bright light because you:

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  • Correct Answer:

Explanation: The light-sensitive tissue located at the back of your eye, called the retina, reacts to bright light. When you look directly at a bright light, like a camera flash, the retina can get overstimulated and it can take a while to recover. That's why you see afterimages of the bright light even after the picture's taken.

Carrots help you see in the dark.

Carrots help you see in the dark.

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Explanation: Sorry, Mom -- carrots are good for you, but there's no evidence that they do anything to improve vision if you're eating a pretty balanced diet. In fact, there is some research showing that people who eat more carrots report worse night vision. However, that may just be because people who have poor night vision are trying to eat a lot of carrots to help it -- not that the carrots are causing bad night vision.

If you cross your eyes, they'll get stuck and stay that way.

If you cross your eyes, they'll get stuck and stay that way.

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Explanation: Sorry, Mom wasn't right about this one, either. Your eyes will not stay permanently crossed no matter how often you make faces.

Your eyes are full-size at birth.

Your eyes are full-size at birth.

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  • Correct Answer:

Explanation: You aren't born with adult-sized eyeballs. Your eyes grow with the rest of your body up until adulthood. Changes in eye size are part of the reason why vision may change and people may need different glasses over time.

How do your eyes "see" an image?

How do your eyes "see" an image?

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Explanation: Your eyes see light. It's your brain that creates the picture. Let's take a journey inside your body to find out how you see what you see. First, your eyes see light and convert it into electrical nerve signals. Those signals then travel to the area of your brain that controls vision, the visual cortex. There, the signals are converted into a visual scene -- the "picture" of what you are seeing.

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You see it all! No one can fool you with tall tales about the eye.

Your view is a little clouded, but you can usually spot a vision whopper.

Uh-oh! You can be fooled by myths about eyesight. Give this quiz another try.

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