All posts by Nathan Ngo

Is crossing your eyes harmful?

Young man rubbing eyes holding glassesImage by SG SHOT via Shutterstock

Children may do goofy things like crossing their eyes to get a rise out of peers and family members. You may have heard the warning that crossing your eyes for an extended period could lead to them staying in that position forever. But is crossing your eyes actually harmful? 

Six muscles move your eyes. Contraction of these muscles moves your eyes up, down, and side to side. Using these muscles to cross your eyes is a form of exercise and is not harmful. The experience of fatigue and perhaps headache might be interpreted by the human mind as indications of harm.  Perhaps that’s what gave rise to the myth that crossing your eyes is harmful.  

Once you uncross your eyes and give them time to rest, they will feel normal as the fatigue resolves. So, the next time you see a kid crossing their eyes for some laughs, there is no need to worry.,t%20have%20any%20lasting%20effect. 

Does eating garlic repel mosquitoes?

brown and black insect

Image from Syed Ali on Unsplash

Mosquitoes are typically considered a pest and a nuisance, particularly from early Spring until late Fall. Their natural tendency to feed off the blood of the innocent bystander has led people to all sorts of measures, including ingesting garlic to fend off these bothersome insects. But how effective is garlic as a mosquito repellant?

The idea that garlic can repel mosquitos most likely stems from its strong odor. The University of Connecticut Health Center compared people that ate a notable amount of garlic to a control group that did not eat garlic and found no significant difference between the number of bites received.

There are interventions supported by evidence, including wearing long-sleeved clothing, emptying standing water containers indoors and outdoors, and using insect repellant that can help deter mosquitoes and other minor menaces for a limited time. The repellant affects the insect’s senses, as they primarily use carbon dioxide output and body heat that they detect from humans to determine which individual to target. Next time you plan on going outside, it is best to consider putting on some bug spray rather than consuming the garlic in your kitchen.,acts%20by%20blinding%20their%20senses.&text=Eating%20garlic%20has%20not%20been,attract%20or%20ward%20off%20mosquitoes.

Is bottled water healthier than tap water?

Study: Bottled Water Contaminant Exposures and Potential Human Effects. Image Credit: yanik88/Shutterstock

Image from

As you are having a nice dinner with your old friend, reminiscing about the glory days, something tickles the back of your throat. After noticing your discomfort, your friend excuses himself to get some water for you, and you hope that he brings back bottled water rather than a glass of water from the tap. But is one healthier than the other?  

Bottled water comes with its own “glass” and is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Also, there is no concern about old pipes (think Flint, Michigan), sewage leaks, pesticide runoff, and other factors. Tap water is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, avoids adding plastic to the environment, and is less costly.  

The benefits of cautiously and thoughtfully defaulting to tap water are worthy of consideration.  Bottled or tap can be useful depending on the context, but it’s difficult to argue that the decision can affect your health.