§ 286. Ceratitis, inflammation of the cornea.

Inflammations of this kind have been spoken of in preceding chapters, to which we therefore refer the reader. We shall here mention some of the most characteristic symptoms of ceratitis, including the treatment.

In most cases this inflammation is chronic. The symptoms are not very striking, on account of the cornea being an organ of inferior organization; there is little redness and pain, but photophobia and lach-rymation are always present. The cornea becomes faint, dim, dingy; the power of vision is diminished, and even entirely suppressed, if the dimness should continue. If the inner membrane of the cornea should be seized, the inflammation soon spreads to the iris, but the cornea does not alter its shape. If, however, the substance of the cornea should be affected, this organ assumes a conical shape. This disease is very apt to remain unaltered for a long time. The terminations are: dispersion with exudation of lymph, or suppuration. Pannus, staphyloma, synizesis, etc., sometimes result from ceratitis.

The inflammation is generally caused by injuries of the cornea. Many pathologists are, however, of opinion, that the inflammation would never attain a high degree if it were not for some dyscrasia which had been slumbering in the organism, or if it were not complicated with scrofula or rheumatism.

In regard to the treatment, we refer the reader to the previous chapters. In idiopathic ceratitis, Euphrasia, Hepar sulp., Iod., Baryt., and Spig., deserve a preference. Hepar s. acts best when given morning and night, second or third trituration. It is of particular service when pannus has commenced setting in. If the inflammation should have been caused by mechanical injuries, Arnica is probably the best remedy, externally and internally. Calendula off., which has been found of great use in wounds, may likewise be of great service. Iod., Baryt., and the hydriodate of potash, are particularly indicated when the inflammation has become chronic, and is complicated with scrofula.