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Disregard viral red circle eye test on WhatsApp, visit an eye doctor

This article is more than 3 years old

A message circulating on Whatsapp in Nigeria claims a simple red circle eye test can be

 done to check the strength of the eyes. It also claims the test was designed by American ophthalmologists.

“See the red circle closely. If you see, No:88- Left eye is weak/ No: 83- Right eye is weak/ No: 38- Both eyes are strong/ No: 33- Consult doctor, both eyes are weak. / Do share with all,” read the post which was also shared with Africa Check on WhatsApp. 

The message was also previously shared on Facebook in 2019.

But is this a conclusive eye test and was it designed by ophthalmologists?

No evidence test is from US ophthalmologists

Africa Check found no any report or scientific evidence suggesting the red circle eye test mentioned in the message is designed by American ophthalmologists. 

We also could not find a reference to such a specific computer-based test on the website of the American Academy of Ophthalmology which has over 35,000 listed US-based eye physicians and surgeons.

‘Visit an eye specialist’

Eye doctors in Nigeria told Africa Check that the post should not be taken as a conclusive test as there are different tests to determine various eye problems or defects.

“I seriously don’t believe ophthalmologists designed the test. The message makes no sense to me,” Charles Bekibele, a professor of ophthalmology at the  University of Ibadan, told Africa Check.

Bekibele advised Nigerians to disregard the message and not see it as a way to check the strength of the eyes.

“The red circle eye test is not a way to test your vision, visit an ophthalmologist if you desire to conduct an eye test,” said Adenike Adeoye, a professor of ophthalmology at the college of health sciences at the Obafemi Awolowo University.

Adeoye added that “conducting an eye test involves several procedures before an ophthalmologist can certify that your eyes are perfectly okay. The message is wrong. There are fake eye tests on WhatsApp that claim to be a way to conduct an eye test, Nigerians should ignore the messages.” 

“It is important we all see a need to visit an ophthalmologist once a year, especially if you are having issues with your eyesight. Several eye diseases are diagnosed through an eye test—for example, glaucoma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and many others. Glaucoma is an eye condition which can lead to blindness.” 

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