This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
Never rub the eyes, for this practice causes inflammation of the lids, and however beautiful the expression, if the eyes are red or without lashes, they lose their charm.
Avoid all ointments, washes, etc., not prescribed by a good physician or oculist. It is impossible too strongly to denounce the use of so-called " eye-beautifiers." Many women have ruined their eyes from just such folly.
If the eyelids are inflamed, wash them in rose-water and plantain. The juice of the strawberry strained through a piece of linen is very efficacious.
An old physician has advised the use of elderberry-water for the painful itching sometimes felt in the eyes.
A physician recommends the following prescription : One quart of soft water, a pinch of common salt, a spoonful of brandy. Allow it to dissolve. Shake well before using. This wash will strengthen the sight and restore its powers.
A skillful oculist says that the eyes should be bathed night and morning. Cold water will serve while young, but after middle age use water as hot as the hands can bear; rinse with cold water afterward. This is recommended as a great preservative of the strength of the eyes.
However strong the eyes may be, give them a little rest after a few hours' continuous use. Never force them to gaze at minute objects when they are weak; never read, write, or sew with too dim a light. During all continuous work close the eyes at intervals for a short time. The light should fall from the side or over the shoulder, not full in the face. Never read or write while lying down. Do not read while traveling or walking, or while physically tired. Hygienic conditions, sobriety, the avoidance of all excesses, are rewarded by good eyesight.