Sources: Papers On Health
Where inflammation has gone so far as to
lead to suppuration, or even to ulceration of the eyes, there is grave
danger of blindness, and this is often the case with infants and
children who have been wrongly treated or neglected. In such a case,
cease at once all irritating and painful treatment and drugs. First,
wash the eyes by gently dropping over them distilled water, or boiled
rain water which has been cooled. The water should be used about blood
After an hour or so, have another warm bathing by means of gentle
pouring over the eyes, but do not rub the eyelids. Let there be no
friction beyond that of the soft and warm water running over the face
in the bathing. Rather have patience till that washes all waste matter
away than run any risk of irritating the eyeball. All this time watch
what the sufferer evidently likes, and follow his likings--that is, as
to warmer or colder water, and so on. It will not be very long before
you have thoroughly cleaned the eyes, while at the same time you have
infused fresh life into them. To the water used a little vinegar or
acetic acid should next be added, or Condy's fluid may be used when it
is convenient. But care must be taken that no great smarting is caused.
See Acetic Acid.
As the discharge from ulcerated eyes is very infectious, care should be
taken not to communicate it to other persons' eyes. Strict cleanliness
should be observed, and all rags employed should be burnt, and
disinfectants used to cleanse the patient's and nurse's hands, etc.
Towels should be boiled for half-an-hour before being washed, after
they have been used in such a case.
Now a most important matter must be attended to. Castor oil is the most
soothing that can be used with the eyes. Fresh olive oil comes next,
but it is usually just as easy to get the one as the other. With a
feather, or fine camel's-hair brush, and as gently as possible, cover
the eyelids with this oil heated to about blood heat. Do not try to
force it on the eyeballs, but if the lids open so much as to let it in,
allow it to lubricate the eyeball also. Rub it gently over the eyebrows
and all round the eyes, and dry it gently off. Cover the eyes then with
a soft covering, and let them have perfect rest.
It sometimes happens that a tiny piece of dust or iron may stick in the
surface of the eye, and refuse to be washed away by the tears. Take a
square inch of writing paper, curve one of the sides of it, and draw it
lightly and quickly over the spot. Never use any sharp instrument or
pin. Repeat the operation a few times if unsuccessful.
Diet as recommended in article Eyes, Hazy Sight.