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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cataract cured with Iodized Ether

Scientific American, 1863~

The Paris Medical Gazelle states that a man of 70 has almost been cured of this eye disease, by the application of concentrated fumes of iodized ether. The liquid was put into a bottle, and one eye held over the mouth for a few seconds, five or ten times a day. After some months' use, the sight of one eye was entirely restored and the other much Improved. Iodine has been applied in the same manner by some of our American oculists, for diseases of the eye, but we are not aware of It ever having been effectual In curing cataract. This afflicting disease consists of an opaque condition of the crystaline humor (transparent albumen) of the eye, or its capsule. When the opacity is seated in the lens, it is called "lenticular;" and when the membrane is opaque, "capsular cataract " when both are combined, the cataract is called "capsule lenticular." There are also other varieties of cataract; so that the method applicable for treating one, may be entirely Inapplicable to another form of the disease. The opacity is generally slow in Its progress, requiring months and sometimes years for Its full development. For lenticular cataract the iodine would have no effect, but for capsular cataract it may be beneficial. It requires much experience to decide upon the nature of cataract. At one period cataract was altogether treated by medicine, but this mode has been abandoned; and tho remedy now consists in the removal of the opaque body by making a delicate Incision with a fine instrument near the cornea and displacing the opacity of the humor, under the hope that by absorption, arising from a healthy condition of the body, it may disappear. All surgical operations for cataract are not successful in effecting a cure. The new matter to be supplied for that which has been removed, from a certain locality, may be opaque, and in all likelihood will be so if the body is not in a healthy condition. Oculists, therefore, are very particular not to operate for cataract unless the patient is in good health. Indeed most diseases of the eye are caused by ill health, and general debility of the body.

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