It is not easy to set firm limit to the range of conditions which may rightly be said to come under the heading of “injuries” to the eyes. this being so, I have for the sake of making this article useful to the experienced practitioner as well as to the layman, set the limit high; it embraces simple injuries due to contusive and concussive causes, foreign bodies in the eye and lacerated wounds, as well as conditions due to the chronic effects of such injuries, post-operative conditions, etc. It should be clearly understood that conditions of the eyes due to acute diseases or chronic constitutional states will require more expert treatment than that which is indicated here.
At the end will be found a short repertory which will greatly assist in finding the most suitable remedy. In this, drugs are arranged in the usual alphabetical order under the several headings and not necessarily in order of grade.
With regard to methods of administration of remedies, repetition of doses and choice of potency, I have but little to say. Unless one possesses a fairly extensive knowledge of the remedies and the action of different potencies, it would be best to stick to low potencies, say up to the 12th centesimal; the experienced homoeopathy may prefer to use the higher potencies judiciously. Several of the remedies do certainly lend themselves to successful external application, I would say particularly Euphrasia and Hamamelis, and, for my part, I would certainly use these topically, as indicated, in potentized form, having frequently done this to the immediate and complete relief of the patient.
From the information and symptoms gathered from several authoritative sources had set out under the respective drug headings, it should be possible to select the single remedy which is the most suitable for a particular case, changing it only when it has obviously finished its work and another remedy is called for by the changed “symptom picture”. Of course, if in spite of a careful study of the remedies, one should select the wrong one, it should be changed at once; in injuries, one soon comes to expect very quick relief from the single correctly chosen remedy.
The single remedy will do all that is required but if any see fit to alternate remedies or to give one remedy internally at the same time as another remedy is applied locally, that is their affair. But they can scarcely expect more consistent and effective results than are obtainable from the correctly chosen single remedy, while alternated remedies may interfere with each other it should be remembered.
That rational mechanical treatment be carried out at once in eye injuries is, of course, a sine qua non. Foreign bodies must be removed with all possible speed, and in simple cases this is most easily done with a moistened “tail” of cotton wool or a clean camel hair brush, brushing action being towards the inner canthus rather than the outer; it may be necessary to ever the upper eyelid, but this should be attempted only by an experienced person.
Surgical attention is essential for particles which become embedded in the eyeball, and the best local treatment pending such attention is to place a drop of castor oil in the lower lid near the inner canthus and cover the eye with a pad of cotton wool. Rubbing of the eye is always injurious, and it is necessary to remember this when treating children; in infants, it is best to tie the hands down without further do. Aconite is usually the first remedy in the above condition, and this remedy should be continued for a few doses after the removal of embedded foreign bodies if it continues to give relief, when the indications for another remedy will become clear.
In a case of injury to the eyes by mortar, lime or any corrosive alkali, a warm wash of vinegar solution (a teaspoonful to the ounce of warm water) is the best local first aid treatment. In the case of corrosive acids coming into contact with the eyes, a solution of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda, a dessert spoonful to the pint of warm water ) is recommended.
A tip that makes selection of the first remedy – which, of course, is often the only one required – twice as easy: Ledum, hamamelis, Calcarea, Silica and Sulphur are but rarely indicated in the early stage of eye injuries.
Anxiety, restlessness and fear. Eyes red, inflamed. Feel dry and hot, as if sand in them. Lids swollen, hard and red. Profuse watering after exposure to dry, cold winds, reflection from snow, after extraction of cinders and other foreign bodies. (Boericke).