§ 287. Iritis, inflammation of the iris.

This inflammation is generally accompanied with inflammation of adjoining parts. The pain is principally seated in the eyeball, but is often felt in the forehead and occiput, particularly at night. Photophobia is very considerable. The pupil contracts, becomes immoveable, and, if the inflammation should progress, and exudations should set in, the pupil becomes indented, elongated, and the visual power is lost. The iris changes its colour; if brown, it changes to a reddish, and if gray, to a blue-greenish colour. The thickening of the iris is distinctly perceptible. The eye is excessively sensitive, and there is considerable lachrymation. If the inflammation be not speedily controlled, exudations set in, which appear like white specks or bands in the pupil, and impair vision. In the worst case the pupil closes (synizesis). The termination in suppuration, and the formation of hypo-pion. is less frequent. The disease is always accompanied with fever, which exacerbates in the evening. It runs a rapid course.

It is caused by previous inflammations, traumatic ophthalmia, injuries during operations, dyscrasia, gout, syphilis, etc.

In the first stage of the disease, when the inflammation is yet in an incipient state of development, Aconite is sufficient to control it; but if pain in the forehead or occiput should already have set in, Belladonna will have to be given in the place of Aconite. The alternate use of Aconite and Belladonna is sometimes commendable. Even if the pupil should have contracted, and have become less dilatable, Belladonna will still prove useful. Cina is admirable when the contraction and immobility of the pupil is attended with frequent scintillations, great dryness and consequent pressure in the eyes, and when the patient complains of aching, rather than tearing, pain in the head. If the disease should have considerably progressed, the power of vision should be much diminished; or, if exudation should have set in, Merc, corros. is most suitable. Plumbum is likewise a powerful absorbent of the exuded lymph. Sulphur, Clematis erecta, and Zincum, are likewise of service in this affection, and have to be chosen with reference to the constitutional State of the patient. We therefore refer the reader to the various chronic affections and dyscrasias, which will be treated of in the second division of this work.