Saturday, November 21, 2009

Eye news

Today I offer for your consideration a long list of weird news about eyes. When I first filled out an organ donor card, I excluded my eyes because it gives me the willies to think of them being removed, but I feel so strongly about restoring sight, if possible, that I no longer make that exception. What follows are stories about curing blindness and causing blindness, the weird things people do with and to their eyes, and eyes in archaeology and on the cutting edge. I have prefaced each headline with an adjective to help you decide if you want to go to the link to read/see more.

Promising: Scientists in the U.S. were developing a microchip that could be surgically implanted in the eye to stimulate the cells around the retina and restore sight.

Ironic: The U.K.'s National Health Service sent a letter inviting a woman from north Wales to have the ophthalmic surgery she needed - 18 years after she had died.

Painful: An 81-year-old monk on Thailand mistook a tube of superglue for eyedrops, but was fine after doctors unglued one eye.

Diabolical: A man from Dundee, Scotland, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for gouging out his ex-girlfriend's eye and attempting to throw her off an 8th-floor balcony.

Surprising: American woman Jalisa Thompson's claim to fame is her eye-popping ability.

Disturbing: A 70-year-old Swedish woman undergoing cataract surgery was mistaken for another patient and had an unneeded operation on her eyelid last month.

Miraculous: A 60-year-old American woman from Mississippi has regained her sight after doctors implanted a tooth in her eye to anchor a tiny prosthetic lens.

Unforgivable: Under the influence of PCP, a Bakersfield, California, man mutilated both eyes of his 4-year-old son, blinding him.

Strange: The eyes of a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, clamp shut for 3 days at a time, blinding her, then open for the next 3 days, then clamp shut again - a baffling affliction she has lived with for 4 years.

Remarkable: A 5,000-year-old artificial discovered at a site near Zabol, Iran, is believed to be the oldest prosthetic in the world.

Horrifying: Doctors in Kragujevac, Serbia, removed an 11cm parasitic worm from a 37-year-old woman's eye socket.

Questionable: Photos and a firsthand account of one of the first eyeball tattoos.
Insane: A 25-year-old death row inmate in Texas, who has a history of mental problems, pulled out his remaining eye and ingested it, having mutilated the other eye 3 years earlier while on trial.
Unfortunate: A drunken blind man stumbled into the wrong house in Houston, Texas, and was injured by birdshot fired by the homeowner when the man refused to leave.
Defensible: A blind man in Inkster, Michigan, shot at 2 men trying to rob him, hitting one of them in the chest.
Undetermined: Snopes has no information on the authenticity of this photograph showing a man pulling his eyeballs down to cheek level.
Unbelievable: The Texas Commission for the blind violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against 2 employees who have impaired vision.
Daring: A legally blind man climbed both Mt. Hood in Oregon and Mt. Whitney in California, setting world records each time.
Creepy: This unnamed man has quite a range of motion when rolling his eyes around in his head.

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