§ 277. Ophthalmitis, ophthalmia, inflammation of the eye.

It is impossible to furnish a correct description of the various inflammatory conditions to which the eyes and eyelids are subject, inasmuch as not only the morbid condition of the eye, but also the general pathological state of the patient, mode of life, age, sex, constitution, and particularly the exciting cause, have to be considered in the treatment. There is much which remains yet to be observed in these affections, and for which the physician has to rely upon his own judgment. This must enable him to determine the true character of the morbid symptoms, and thus to supply the deficiencies of our Materia Medica. It is a misfortune that the eye symptoms should have been observed, by provers who did not possess a correct knowledge of the diseases of the eye.

It is not my intention to give a minute description of all the various inflammations of the eye; I shall content myself with indicating some of the remedies that are most suitable in inflammation of the eyelids or eyeball. These scanty indications will be sufficient to guide the homoeopathic physician in the treatment of all other cases of ophthalmia.

* Belladonna is chiefly indicated when the ear looks like a mass of raw flesh, with bloody, fetid discharge, and agonizing pain extending deep into the head, swelling of the mastoid process, and parotid glands, etc.

Mercurius is indicated by confused noises in the head, with sensation as if water were rolling through the head, excessive pain in the inner ear, extending along the ascending plate of the jaw, yellowish discharge from the ear. The pain is worse at night, etc.

By inflammation of the eye, we generally understand an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is generally more or less involved. From the conjunctiva the inflammation may spread to the adjoining parts, the sclerotica and cornea, or even the iris and retina. Let us first treat of inflammation of the conjunctiva and of the remedies which correspond more particularly to that state.