This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
M. Boinet relates a severe case of double ophthalmia and scrofulous catarrh, which had lasted for thirteen months when admitted into the St. Louis Hospital, but was relieved; and, in a few weeks, cured by the constant employment of an iodine lotion and nasal injection. I began to use this treatment in such cases many years ago, and often had excellent results.
In the ophthalmia of new-born children, and also in the epidemic and the gonorrhoeal forms of the disorder, solutions of nitrate are extremely valuable, though they often cause severe pain for a time. The lids should be separated and the eye cleansed by a stream of tepid water, and in acute, not very severe cases, a few drops of a solution (2 to 5 gr. in 1 oz.) should be instilled - in very severe cases with chemosis, a strength of 20 or 30 gr. in the ounce may be employed once or twice daily, but should be followed by a syringeful of plain water, or of weak salt-solution, in order to neutralize any excess of nitrate (v. p. 23). In chronic cases, especially when scrofulous in character, with thickened conjunctiva, photophobia, lachrymation, etc., the solid stick may be lightly used to the lids with advantage; but in all cases the liability to discoloration must be remembered, and the remedy not be used too often nor too long; when ulceration is present, or the membrane not entire, other remedies should be preferred.
Otorrhoea, with perforation of tympanum and with tendency to formation of polypus, is best treated by touching the tympanic mucosa with a concentrated solution of the nitrate: the discharge should be daily removed by ordinary antiseptic lotion.
Bathing with ferric lotions and painting with the tinct. ferri have proved useful in chronic purulent conditions of the conjunctiva, and similar treatment has sometimes dispersed corneal opacities and healed scrofulous corneal ulceration (Gazette des Hopitaux, February, 1862).