Affections of the Eyes

the hygienic system orthopathy chapter 19

BLINDNESS

Definition: This is partial or complete inability to see. This inability to see constitutes the characteristic symptom. Various structural changes in the eyes are often apparent.

Etiology: Immediately, blindness results from changes in the eye: its lens, retina, or other parts that prevent vision. Cataract, destruction of the cornea, optic atrophy, glaucoma, tumor, brain pathology, etc., are the usual causes. These pathologies depend upon the general causes of pathology in the body. Temporary blindness may be seen in shock, hysteria, optic neuritis, etc., that may be quickly recovered from.

Prognosis: In all save cases of temporary functional blindness the outlook is not favorable. Only an occasional case may recover vision.

Care of the Patient: All causes of ill-health must be removed and the general health built up. A few cases of blindness of long standing have recovered good sight during a long fast.
Affections Of The Eyes

CATARACT

Definition: This is an opacity of the lens of the eye. Several forms are described.

Symptoms: The cataract cannot be seen except with the ophthalmoscope. It commonly begins at the outer border of the lens and slowly creeps over the whole lens resulting in gradually failing vision of the affected eye. The pupil gradually changes to a white or grayish color. The development may progress for years and both eyes are generally involved though it commonly begins in one eye. Blindness always results if the condition is allowed to persist.

Etiology: The "authorities" seem to be unable to agree on its cause. It rarely develops in children and is most common after fifty. It sometimes develops as a complication of diabetes. Eye strain is often said to predispose. It is our opinion, that it is the result of toxemia. In the cases we have handled there has been history of long-standing indigestion with much poisoning from the digestive tract.
Prognosis: In early cases this is good. In advanced cases where blindness exists it is not favorable. We had one case of blindness of one eye to recover so completely during a fast of eighteen days, that the patient was able to read a newspaper with the unaided eyes. The knife offers, perhaps, the only hope in advanced cases.

Care of the Patient: The elimination of toxemia is vital. To this end a long fast is essential. All causes of enervation must be corrected and feeding must be of a nature to assure good digestion. Sun-light, carefully used, as described in Volume I of this series, has proven helpful. It is claimed by the followers of Bates that palming and other measures to improve vision help to remove cataract.

CONGESTION OF THE CONJUNCTIVA

Definition: This is congestion of the delicate membrane which lines the lids and covers the eyeballs.

Symptoms: Redness ("blood-shot") of the eyeballs and lids, smarting or burning, blurred vision, and a mattery discharge are the chief symptoms. There may be a flow of tears.

Etiology: It often results from exposure of the eyes to smoke or strong winds or other locally irritating influence. It is seen after dissipation or much drinking of alcohol. It is almost always present in measles, scarlet fever and small pox. It is, except where due to local irritation, an expression of systemic toxemia.

Prognosis: This is good.

Care of the Patient: The eyes should be kept clean by thorough washing with warm water. They should be allowed to rest. Other than this, hygienic measures for cleansing the body — fasting, followed by a natural diet — is all that is required.
CONJUNCTIVITIS — Granular
Definition: This is the dread trachoma of which we hear so much as an affliction of the Indians. It is an aggravated form of the simple catarrhal conjunctivitis previously described. It is also called granulated lids.

Symptoms: Severe inflammation of the membrane of the eyes, which is covered with numerous nodules, is the principal characteristic. The inner surface of the lids often become thickened and rough (perhaps as much from the abusive treatment commonly employed, as from anything) like sandpaper, and, by constant friction, Impairs the transparency of the cornea, often leading to blindness. The above symptoms are merely added to those described under catarrhal conjunctivitis.

Etiology: It is said to be very contagious; but this belongs with other myths, like werewolves, hobgoblins and mad dogs. It is the result of toxemia complicated with sepsis from the intestines. Among the Indians it develops only in those who live on white bread, molasses, salt bacon, coffee and firewater with a lack of fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Care of the Patient: Rest and strict cleanliness of the eyes are of greatest importance. Warm water is sufficient for cleanliness. Antiseptic solutions do more harm than good. A fast of sufficient duration to end the inflammation and free the body of toxins is very essential. Careful feeding to avoid indigestion, with an abundance of fruits and vegetables and general or constitutional health measures, are essential.
EYE HEADACHES
Eye-strain causes headache! We know that many thousands have been fitted with glasses to cure them of headaches and many of them find comfort so long as they wear the glasses. They find that their headache returns when they lay their glasses aside. Such a remedy is mere, palliation and does not touch the real cause of the headache.
Too much attention is given to supposed defective anatomism in dealing with the eyes and not enough to the causes of impaired function. The animal (human) body physiologically adjusts itself to all kinds of anatomical deformities and, when in full health, does this with little or no strain.
Enervation, toxemia and perverted metabolism are the causes of the discomforts credited to eye-strain. In caring for "eye-strain" it is significant that when toxemia is removed, the headache is gone. Correct the habits of life which derange metabolism, discard eye-glasses, and there will not be much eye-strain left.
GLAUCOMA
Definition: An excessive pressure within the eye causing hardness of the eyes and blindness. One or both eyes may be affected.

Symptoms: This condition may be preceded by weeks or months of pain in the eyeballs, especially early in the morning. One of the first symptoms of the early stage of the condition is the appearance of halos or colored rings around distant objects, when seen at night. The iris is usually pushed forward, there is constant pain in the brow, the temple, the cheek or other parts near the eye and the eyeball becomes hard to the touch instead of soft, and resilient, as in the normal state. Vision is gradually impaired and ultimate blindness ensues if the condition is not corrected.

Etiology: The hardness of the eyeball, pain and impaired vision result from the presence of an excess of fluid In the eye, either from an excess secretion or from obstructed drainage. While eye-strain and poor lighting are given as causes, the basic cause of glaucoma goes back much deeper than this. It grows out of a highly toxic condition of the body. Accumulation of excess fluid in the eyes has the same cause as similar accumulations in other organs and tissues of the body.

Prognosis: This is good in the early stages but if proper care is neglected constant pressure on the retina results in atrophy and blindness.

Care of the Patient: It is necessary to say that advanced cases may be beyond recovery, but in early stages the condition should respond readily to hygienic care. Indeed the only failure we have to record was in that of an advanced case that had an operation for the condition before coming to us.
Nothing is more immediately effective in these cases than fasting. We have seen normal vision restored in two to three weeks in cases that were practically blind. Fasting not only helps to remove the underlying toxic condition, but it speeds up the absorption of the fluid in the eye.
Rest and good general hygiene should accompany the fast. After the fast, a diet of fruits and vegetables should be followed long enough for the restoration of full health.
Even in hopeless cases the above program may be used to build up the general health and prevent further damage.
OPTIC ATROPHY
Definition: This is atrophy or wasting of the optic nerve.

Symptoms: Optic atrophy can be diagnosed only by the aid of the ophthalmoscope. It is not always preceded by pain in the eye. There is a gradual failing of vision with ultimate complete blindness.

Etiology: So-called primary optic atrophy is seen in locomotor ataxia and paretic dementia. Secondary atrophy results from pressure of tumors, aneurysms, etc., on the optic chasm. What is called consecutive atrophy is a sequel of optic neuritis. Primary and consecutive neuritis are due to the usual causes of nervous degeneration. Quinine and arsenic are potent causes of optic atrophy and blindness.

Care of the Patient: Nothing can be done for advanced atrophy. The process may be arrested in its early stages if proper measures are employed. The use of quinine and arsenic must be discontinued and all stimulants must be given up. Fasting is essential to eliminate toxemia and rest will be necessary to restoration of nerve energy. All abuse of the eyes must be discontinued. Glasses and local treatment will not help.
OPTIC NEURITIS (Papillitis)
Definition: This is inflammation of the intra-ocular (within the eye) end of the optic nerve. If it is accompanied with marked swelling the term "choked disk" is employed to designate it.

Symptoms: Severe pain in the eye, which radiates up through the forehead and often even down to the back side, accompanied by more or less swelling, are the characteristic symptoms.

Etiology: It is due to the usual causes of neuritis — pressure, toxemia, and poisoning (lead and alcohol). It is seen in tumor of the brain, nephritis, anemia, cerebral meningitis and in "infectious fevers."

Care of the Patient: See Neuritis.
RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA
Definition: This is a hardening of the retina with pigmentation and atrophy.

Symptoms: Gradually failing sight may be the only symptom. It is considered a hopelessly blinding affection and accounts for thousands of cases of blindness yearly. It can be diagnosed only by means of the ophthalmoscope.

Etiology: It is due to the usual causes of sclerosis of tissue — toxemia, intoxication, and drug poisoning. Abuse of the visual function may predispose. A theory has recently arisen that it is caused by a lack of carotene in the diet.

Care of the Patient: This must be constitutional. A fast followed by a diet of fruits and vegetables are essential. Local care is of no value.
STYE
Definition: This is a small, painful pimple or boil on the eyelid, or inflammation of the connective tissue of the lid near a hair follicle.

Etiology: It grows out of the local and systemic conditions which cause boils, which see.

Care of the Patient: They heal in three or four days without attention. Sometimes several develop in succession. General hygienic care of the body soon puts an end to them.
TREMBLING OF THE EYELIDS
This is a trembling motion of the eyelids often seen in children afflicted with conjunctivitis. The trembling is of nervous origin and often becomes spasmodic. Its causes are systemic and it disappears when the general health is improved.
ULCERS OF THE CORNEA
Ulcers often appear upon the cornea and cause considerable suffering. Like ulcers elsewhere in the body they follow inflammation and are due to toxemia and septic absorption. These should be cared for as directed under iritis. Cleanliness is doubly important.