I have been asked write some thing my experiences of homoeopathy in disease of the eye , and while I gladly accede to the request , let me say at once that I am no expert for it is only with in the last 20 years or so that I have practiced homoeopathy at all seriously .
My experiences lead have lead me to the opinion that it is only truly scientific and logical method of prescribing . It is scientific and logical method of prescribing . It is scientific because the observer uses as the basis of his activities symptoms which are in accurate subjective delineation of a departure from the normal ( whether interpreted correctly is another matter ) matching from accurately with the remedy . This is in contrast with allopathic methods where no sure such guide is forth coming and where each individual prescribes what seems right to him , there being no general agreement owing to the lack of basic law of cure , and there fore no truly constitutional treatment .
Pharmacology when studied on homoeopathic principles offer today the finest field for research in medicine , for treatment is undoubtedly its weakest link .It also offers the widest scope , for those who have courage enough to pursue their investigations independently , and ever cease to perpetuate the errors of their fore fathers . It seems a pity that so many can be spent on research which often yields such doubtful benefit on humanity , while a system of medicine which has already benefited so many is crying out for investigation and consideration
I have found that one criticism leveled at the homoeopath is that he treats only by symptoms and tends to ignore pathology and examination by approved physical methods . If this is true it is to be deplored , for while pathology is gross symptomatology , we can not afford to ignore any form of information in an economy , so complex as the human body
The eye affords a unique back ground for observing the effects of drugs , primary disease is rare , but secondary disease due to disturbances elsewhere is only too common ; ulceration , the different forms of keratitis , cataract , glaucoma , retinal and choroidal disease , and the various toxic manifestations are invariably the out come constitutional disease the eye is the offended organ , not the offender
Hypericum : This was brought to my notice some years ago for the relief of pain following operations on the eye , and it has given me uniformly satisfactory results replacing the usual anodynes ( aspirin, phenacetin et., )I had hither to used and avoiding the depressing effects of strong drugs . I used 200th potency for a time , but now prefer the 3X tincture giving one dose before and two after operation , at two hours intervals . It relieves the usual pain and soreness felt after the effect of the local anesthesia and passed off . Its action would seem to on ends of divided nerves
. When probing as it relieves the pain and soreness after wards .Although outside my province as an oculist , I have found it useful in dental extractions ; in one case sent to me for refractive error , where a portion of the stump of a molar had been left in an account of the condition of the patient , the intense pain which had lasted for five days was relieved quite dramatically by a few doses of Hypericum 6 . This remedy ought to form part of the equipment of every ophthalmic surgeon
Another drug which effected one of the most marvelous instantaneous cures I have ever seen with cimicifuga racemosa . The patient had persistent orbital pain with aching eyes , some headache , some headache and a congested appearance of eyes and lids : also m menopaual flushings and pain in the lower part of the back
The optic nerve showed a mild hyeraemia and pain in the lower part of the back . The optic nerve showed a mild hyeraemia with the misty , ill defined appearance which one has come to associate with pelvic disturbance and reflexes from the generative tract . The pain in the eyes and orbit was so intense that the woman was really ill and utterly worn out . Her glasses were correct and her own doctor had tried almost every thing to relieve the condition with out avail . What led me to think of the drug I can not quite say – I suppose it was one of those intuitions which come to most of us sooner or later – however she was given cimicifuga racemosa 3 and effect was remarkable ; it so impressed the patient she returned two days later to tell me ‘ it was homocea’ it touches the spot ,to see the effect on the eye itself and in the fundus was never more surprised in any case , and it served to show me what medicine can do , and in such infinitesimal amounts and how sensitive body really is
Sulphur:. This is a remedy of which I have little experience except in boils , and in the related heparsulphur , in suppurations , but with in the last month I have learned what it can do , in post operative infection . The patient was seventy two and had double subcapsular senile cataract Rt.6.00, Lt.2.6 , The operation was done under the usual asceptic conditions, and I could blame nothing at the time of operation for the subsequent occurrence . On the third day I noticed more reaction than is normal , suggestive of a mild iritis ( We never give atropine after operation , in such cases – they do better with out it .on the fourth morning there was a definite posterior synechia at about 6’o clock .Atropin , cocaine , and adrenalin drops with aspirin internally used and eye improved on the sixth and following days . On the ninth there appeared to be a relapse and on the tenth morning , to my horror , the wound was filled with a narrow streak of pus this slowly increased at the outer limit of the wound and eventually filled the whole angle of the anterior chamber , leaving th papillary area relatively clear , mercurious solubilis and arnica had no effect and I was afraid use hepar sulphur for fear of increasing the quantity of pus . As I thought case would go on to panophthalmitis and possibly orbital cellulites , I gave one injection of Edwinil in the hope of stimulating resistance and absorption ( in case I had four years ago running a high temperature , this material brought the temperature down , but had no effect on the course of the disease and the eye was lost ) This sent temperature up one degree and the next day the anterior chamber was full of pus and the papillary area obliterated ; my fingers itched to tap the anterior chamber , but the patient persuaded me to wait till the morning ( incidentally it looks quite simple thing to tap the anterior chamber was full of pus to get at any time ) It was a wise move to desist as it subsequently turned I think largely from the make up of the patient . Candidly I thought the eye was doomed , for in an experience of over twenty years .I have never seen a case of recover which had gone to the same extent . three days after we began the sulphur the temperature dropped one and a half degrees and I was able to detect the position of the pupil . from then onwards then anterior chamber slowly began to clear and the pus absorb . This progress continued uninterruptedly and ten days after the sulphur began was begun details of the iris could be seen and there was only a small deposit of fibrotic material below the position of the original synechia . The eye continued to clear the intense bulbar congestion and oedema , as well as that of the lids , gradually died down , and the patient was up . I hope to do successful extraction later . The previous history of the patient was good , but I only discovered during the illness that she has been addicted to boils and had had injections of vaccines and taken quantities of yeast ; there was no albumen or sugar in the urine . It would be interesting to compare the result with that of similar cases treated with the sulphonamide group of drugs , but if the latter cured I doubt if the general condition of the patient would be so good afterwards as it was in this sulphur case , for no body would have thought she had come through so serious an illness .the result is so attributed to the sulphur and I record these details with the greatest pleasure as such recoveries must be very few indeed
Speaking generally what is required in such cases is to mitigate the virulence of infection and assist absorption . Any thing that increases the quantity of pus ( drugs or heat )is undesirable , and I do not think tapping the anterior chamber is of much use . Should such a case go on as they usually do to orbital cellulites and possible meningitis , the eye itself must be treated as an abscess , indeed and drained but on no account removed , for fear of interfering with the barrier nature has set up , I have found frequent lavage with a mild antiseptic such as boracic acid , preferable to strong antiseptic solutions ; permanganate of potash did not suit the case here reported . I should add that atropin , cocaine , and adranalin drops were given through out patient’s illness and they evidently did not interfere at all with the action of sulphur
Sulphur poisoning :
One of the results of sulphur poisoning in muscae volitantes . I have now a most intractable case following massive injections of colloidal sulphur for rhematic fibrisitis . This patient had twelve intravenous injections . Her eye troubles began soon after the beginning of the course . The spots got thicker and thicker , after the injection her eyes felt like burning coals and if bursting out of her head ; the temporal veins stood out like cords when she had rigors after the injection . About eighteen months after the eye symptoms began she had operations on the continent for double glaucoma , iridetomies being done , objectively I could find no evidence of glaucoma at any time and my opinion of the operations were unnecessary was independently confirmed . The patient’s nervous system was in a dreadful state , and she was to be pitied . I wanted to try effect of high potency sulphur , and ordered sulphur 30 but patient found out unfortunately it was refused to take it .
Incidentally , if any one can give me a remedy for muscae volitantates , I should be deeply grateful , as I have literally tried every remedy in the pharmacopoeia with out avail , as also drugs which depress retinal sensitivity
Arnica and Ledum pal ;
I hae found arnica useful for preventing septic infection , given before operation , for bursting in any tissue , for extra vasations and for absorbing styes . ledum pal belongs to the same group and is preferable in some cases of this nature . The following is a recent experience : I was called one day at noon top a throat , nose and ear hospital to see a patient who had been operated on that morning for a deflected septum ( sub mucus resection ) and who towards the end of the operation developed an alarming proptosis of the right eye . When I saw her , vision was nil , pupil semi dilated and the optic nerve quite white temperature 99 , the patient is a married woman thin and scraggy and manifestly in poor health , she assured me her sight was good when she entered the operation room I made a diagnosis of massive exudation into the orbit , strangulating the nerve and pushing forward the globe ; Orbital cellulites could be ruled out
My first thought was to give arnica , but I have read some where that ledum was to be preferred in some cases and I ordered ledum –6 every hour . I saw the patient , four hours later , when there is a distinct improvement : the proptosis was less marked and the patient thought she saw my hand move across in front of the eye , I increased the potency to 30 and ordered in every 3 hours . The next morning the proptosis was very much less , vision very much less 6/36, the pupil reacted well and by that after noon ( that is , 28 hours after the occurrence ) the eye was normal again with vision 6/6
The staff both surgical and nursing were so impressed with the result that they wished me to explain the case and treatment . Normally I suppose the patient would have been treated with aspirin and hot compresses which was actually suggested , with leeching or blistering over the mastoid , and in my early days I should probably have done an external orbitotomy to relieve the strangulated nerve . I have never seen a case exactly like this one , though some years ago I removed a clot from the apex of the orbit , the result of fractured base and damage to a vessel by a spicule of bone
I feel sure the less operative interference we do the better , and this ledum case .is an excellent instance of how it can be avoided , it is a valuable remedy but space forbids me to write on ite more generalized use , but I have sent it give excellent results .
Ruta : is a drug I have found useful in accommodation asthenopia , eye strain from uncorrected error in refraction –what used to be called panorama headaches , it is astonishing what a strain moving objects and the focusing of such make on the accommodation and convergence of the eye . . The lateral movement of the eye . The lateral movements of the eye in the attempts to keep them in focus upset the accommodation and the far point is never at rest for a moment . Even with the aid of glasses such a strain may be produced , as when driving a car over long distances or for hours at a time . A patient recently was worn out with a severe head ache at the end of 200 miles run in a attempt to cover 400 miles in two days .two doses of ruta 6 were given on the morning of the second day’s run . The patient experienced no further trouble whatever and completed the journey in comfort .The fact that medicine will help a case such as this is no justification for not attending the cause , as in all probability , if persisted in it would lose its effect , it is useful also in spasm of the accommodation and a refraction can be done many cases with out having to resort to a mydriatic which would normally be required . In the phorias my experience is that this remedy is of little use .
Cineraria maritime : And other drugs for cataract , I have used the juice of this plant for many years with a view to retarding the development of of opacities in the lens . Spectroscopically I found it contained large quantities of potassium , and it probably owes its usefulness to this element in an organic form . As cataract advances the potassium content of the lens gets less and its place is taken by and its place is taken by unionized calcium , but this excesses indicates that the lens is obtaining enough , it is the ionic calcium available that maters . I have had more successes with calcium and vitamins than with any other form of treatment , napthalin will not produce cataract , if there is enough calcium available for the needs of the lens .
The cause of the cataract should be sought for if possible . Pyorrhea and septic tonsils in my experience are the greater offenders . I have seen well marked opacities clear up entirely after removal of offending teeth ,. There is no specific in any pharmacopocia for cataract , as its development depends on the constitutional condition of the patient and the immediate cause . One of the greatest difficulties we are up against is the hereditary influence . I tnink we are breeding a race whose crystalline lenses are breaking down earlier than those of our forefathers
Nosode prepared from cataractous lens material – I have used this for some years , having had it to provers , in the provings gastrointestinal troubles such as vague indigestion , colicky pain , and especially nausea were the most prominent also weakness about the knees and legs , as confirming this latter symptom in the proving , a patient taking the nosode for incipient cataract has so improved in her walking powers that it astonished her husband , as it so clearly occurred after taking the medicine for her eyes .
I think it acts best in lower potencies , but I have tried up to 12 C , I am having one prepared from healthy bovine lens material of which I find a 2 % solution the best means of absorbing corical masses left behind in cataract extraction and in traumatic cataract ; such injections should be given before operation in any complicated of difficult use . It helps to prevent iritis phacoanaphylactia . I hope this potentised material may act equally well .
This remedy was responsible for a very remarkable result in a long standing case of obsolescent tubercle of the choroids , with detachment of the retina ;
I am afraid this article is already too long , but the experience of homoeopathy recorded were all with remedies I have thoroughly tested and proved to be of value . Needless to say ,a good deal more might have been said in support the homoeopathic principle , bit it was with no sense of writing a complete exposition of its application of ophthalmology that I have recorded these experiences . These are original clinical clinical observations , and as such , I hope may carry more weight than if they had been simply abstracted drug pictures .
In conclusion I should like to comment on the ophthalmic sections of the various repertories in common use . In my opinion much is tabulated and described in terms which are inaccurate and often unknown to modern ophthalmology , while agreeing that special symptoms are probably best described and listed in the prover’s own words , it is a fact that in these repertories such symptoms have definite pathological or objective conditions interspersed among them . The point I should like to stress is that such conditions should be correctly described . For instance what is “paralysis of the optic nerve “?.or what are we to judge from such a vague heading as “ eye balls –bad effects from operation “, neither the type of operation nor structure operated on being indicated and with no hint as to the nature of the damage done . Another strange condition is “ perceptive power lost “ what does this mean ? It might be due to many and varied causes such as defective , such as defective light perception or form sense , word blindness or an error in refraction , and all these with many other possible conditions could not be covered by the one remedy given , It seems obvious that the heading is useless and an example of the type of entry likely to bring repertory into disrepute , where as there should be no reason why an oculist should not be able to turn to such a repertory for help , while remaining on familiar ground , however little he might know of homoeopathy . As matters stand at present it is a great pity that useful information should be tabulated in such an ambiguous and often erroneous way , so that any oculist reading it would be utterly bewildered and would probably turn the whole thing down as useless
If such is the case with regard to eyes , on which one may claim to express an opinion , may not such remarks be equally true of other sections of such repertories , I suggest that the whole system needs a thorough revision , preferably by an international commission , and that the material medica and repertories be critically examined , so that there is nothing redundant nor irrelevant admitted , and that such revision be undertaken at least every seven years .
Finally is it not unfortunate that a system of treatment so scientifically accurate and there for simple should be presented in such a way , with its encumbrances and complications , as to damage its cause from the outset ? This is surely one of the main reasons why it has not yet taken its rightful place in modern medicine .