§ 279. Catarrhal ophthalmia.

This inflammation generally affects both eyes, attended with catarrh, cough, and catarrhal fever. The inflammation and redness of the eye generally proceed from the canthi; soon, however, this redness, which has a yellowish, dingy tinge, extends over the whole conjunctiva; the cornea sometimes becomes a little dim, though it generally remains clear. If the inflammation be not arrested, phlyctaenae form around the cornea, which sometimes break and induce ulceration. The patients have a sensation of burning and pressure in the eyes, as if sand had lodged between the eyelids. Lachrymation, and subsequently, secretion of mucus, are very considerable. Evening exacerbations are generally present.

The disease is brought on by exposure to damp, cold, rough weather. Contagion takes place by transferring the secretions of the affected eye to a sound one.

Chamomillo, is an excellent remedy for such an inflammation, when the scleratica is not very much inflamed, when there is no lachrymation, when a sensation of pressure is experienced on opening or closing the lids, with agglutination of the lids and slight catarrhal fever.

Nux vom. will be found of very little use in this kind of ophthalmia, except when the symptoms correspond exactly.

Belladonna, Euphrasia, and Arsenic, are principal remedies in this kind of inflammation.

Belladonna deserves a preference when there are violent congestions of the head, when the conjunctiva and sometimes even the scleratica are very much injected, when a painful photophobia, very little secretion, and even a painful dryness of the eyes, are present. It is more particularly indicated by profuse co-ryza, making the nose sore, by paroxysms of a short, spasmodic, dry, hacking cough, and similar catarrhal symptoms.

Euphrasia is indicated by similar symptoms as Belladonna, except the profuse secretion of tears and mucus, which is not characteristic of Belladonna. Euphrasia is more particularly indicated when the inflammation is rather extensive, when the conjunctiva and sclerotica are very much injected, and phlyc-tsenae or little ulcers have formed around the border of the cornea. Profuse coryza, with violent headache, and evening exacerbations, are other indications for the use of Euphrasia.

Ignatia is indicated when the perceptible symptoms of the inflammation are less marked; when there is little redness, but a violent aching pain in the eyes, profuse lachrymation, and violent photophobia, attended with fluent coryza.

We would refer the reader to the remedies for catarrh and catarrhal fever contained in § 34, etc.

A constitutional disposition for catarrhal ophthalmia, exposing one to catarrhal affections at every little change of the weather, requires the use of the antipsorics. However, the remaining sensitiveness of the evelids, which induces a redness of the margins of the lids whenever the least change takes place in the weather, sometimes yields to a single dose of Nux com., particularly when the patient complains of congestion about the head, brought on by the abuse of spirituous drinks.

If the eyes and eyelids should be very sensitive, with diminution of sight, scintillations, luminous appearances before the eyes, obscuration of sight, and even paralysis of the optic nerves, Belladonna will still prove useful, though Digitalis, Aurum, Dulcamara, Phosphorus, Sepia, China, Causticum, Sulphur, etc., may likewise be indicated.*