|History of Ophthalmology|
A decoration on Ipy's sarcophagus, Thebes showing the construction of a pyramid.
The physician is shown to be removing corneal foreign body from a worker who probably
got it from chipping the stone.
Ophthalmology has a history which reaches back to remote antiquity and this is only to be expected because the failure of sight, cataract and blindness are among the calamities which sit at the threshold of old age. However, it is only in the last century that ophthalmology frees itself from the shackles of the 18th century quackery and become a coherent speciality. Some of the treatment below are not too dissimilar from witchcraft but can you guess which ophthalmic problems were they meant to treat? (Treatment 1-4 are from Leechdoms, Wortcunning and Starcraft in Early England)
For more history of ophthalmology, visit a historical tour of ophthalmology
1. Take a live crab, put his eyes out, and put him alive again into water, and put the eyes upon the
neck of the man who hath need, he will soon be well.
2. Take a childs urine and virgin honey, mingle together of both equal quantities, smear the eyes
therewith on the inside.
3. Take barley meal and knead it with honey, lay it to the eyes.
4. Take a wolfs right eye, and prick it to pieces, and bind it to the suffering eye.
5. Apply slivers of ox liver to the patient's eye for one week.
6. Intramuscular injection of milk or intravenous injection of triple typhoid H antigen to raise the
body temperature to 400C
7. Inject into the patient the blood of patient infected with Plasmodium vivax wither subcutaneously
(7-10ml) or intravenously (2ml). After 8 to 10 attacks of fever, the process is stopped by the
administration of quinine.
8. What is this face mask for?
9. What is this eye shield for?
10. What are these instruments for?
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