It was in this video. It is at around 1 minute and 51 second. Here is the context:

Others, like the drops used to dilate pupils for eye exams, are targeted and don't throw your whole body off.

Does that mean that the drops do not change the whole body?

  • Yes; but, with this specific attribute stressed that posters have already articulated comes with using the phrasal verb, throw off. Otherwise, the speaker could have just said change. Examine how "targeted" and its definition is used in the sentence. The target for the drops is the eyes. The drops do disrupt eye function, that when applied to the eye, work to artificially dilate(sic, inflate; enlarge) the pupil. However, the drops disrupt no other of the eye's functions in movement, etc., and disrupt no other of the body's functions once applied to the eye.
    – user90322
    Feb 27, 2019 at 1:00
  • Also, apply the same logic to using he word "change" specific to medicine vs. generally applying change in daily use. Certainly, this is a medical procedure [eye exam.] "Change" has connotation that once a medical procedure, or medicinal treatment is applied, it can change, repair, or enhance treating the patient. Make them whole as outcome. Throw off is used as the doctor must first disrupt a specific function of the eye, in order to examine and look for any underlying condition. Because of additional connotation with change in the field medicine, it is not used.
    – user90322
    Feb 27, 2019 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


There, throw off means to disturb, to discombobulate, to interfere with the proper functioning of something.

Living underground in a bunker without natural light threw off my sleep cycle.

I was trying to concentrate, but you breathing down my neck threw me off.

Eating nothing but peas threw off his digestion, not to mention his sanity.

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