Ophthalmic Diseases and Therapeutics by Norton

eyeBook review by Dr Jubin BHMS,MD (Hom)

Full name of the book : Ophthalmic diseases and Therapeutics.
Author  : Dr. A. B. Norton
First Edition :  New York,  August 1892.
Second Edition  :  New York, September 1898.
Third Edition : New York, December 1901
Published by  : B. Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd.  New Delhi – 110055.
Printed at        :  J. J. Offset Printers New Delhi – 110092.

Introduction to the Author 
: Professor of Ophthalmology in the College of the New York Ophthalmic Hospital, Oculist to the Hahnemann Hospital and to the Laura Franklin Free Hospital for Children, President, American Institute of Homoeopathy, Ex-President American Homoeopathic Ophthalmological, Otological and Laryngological Society, Ex-President Homoeopathic Medical Society of the state of New York, Editor Homoeopathic Eye, Ear and Throat Journal.

In the Preface to First Edition, it is mentioned that the scope of this work is to give concisely as possible all the essential features necessary to a thorough knowledge of the diseases of the eye starting with anatomy of the structures to aid in the understanding of diseases and it is done with a definite and systematic order taking successively the pathology, symptoms, course, causes, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of each of these diseases. Also importance is given to Homoeopathic as well as local and operative measures.

In the Preface to the Second Edition, it is mentioned to give concise practical manual. New articles like The Examination of the Eye, The Use of Ophthalmoscope, The Hygiene of the Eye are included. Refraction and Accommodation were prepared by Dr. Charles .H. Helfrich, Professor at the College of New York Ophthalmic Hospital. A Tabulated statement of diseases with More or Less Characteristic Eye Symptoms is an excellent resume of the eye in relation to general diseases prepared by Dr. E. H. Linnell for his valuable work, The Eye as an Aid in General  Diagnosis. Dr.Edwin.S.Munson prepared the Index is also included in this edition.

In the Preface to the Third Edition, the Repertory part was already prepared in the last edition it was elaborated in this edition by Dr.Edwin.S.Munson. As the Ophthalmic therapeutics have been largely developed from clinical experience this department is best called as an Clinical Index than a Repertory. It has been condensed to what may be considered as reliable keynotes.


  1. Examination of the eye includes examination of the outer structures, Examination,the Oblique Examination, Method of determining the tension and the Field of Vision.
  2. The Use of Ophthalmoscope includes Art of using the Ophthalmoscope, The Direct Method, The Fundus as seen by the Ophthalmoscope.
  3. Refraction and Accommodation of the Eye includes Normal Refraction and Accommodation, Convergence, Accommodation and Convergence Associated, Angle Alpha and Angle Gamma, Abnormalities of Refraction and Accommodation, Hypermetropia, Myopia, Astigmatism, Irregular Astigmatism, Anisometropia, Presbyopia.
  4. Dioptometry – Subjective dioptometry, Cyclopegics, Estimation of Refraction by the Direct Method, Indirect Method, Skiascopy, Ophthalmometry and General Considerations.
  5.  Hygiene of the Eye In the baby prime importance is to avoid gonorrheal ophthalmia and it is cleansed with warm water or a saturated solution of boracic acid to avoid them. The eyes of young infants should be protected from all glaring lights and especially the direct rays of the sun, both indoors and out. The objects must not be held close to the eye as it produces strabismus. 

School Hygeine – In school children it is found that the number of near sighted pupils increase from the lowest to highest schools and the increase is directly proportional to the length of time devoted to the strain of school life. Myopia is often hereditary, it is impossible to eradicate it for generations to come. Acquired myopia can be carefully reduced or can be prevented by frequent, careful examination of the eyes with hygienic preventive measures during the physical growth and mental training of the child.

Statistics proves that a very large proportion of the eyes of young children are hypermetropic. By repeated examinations the first change can be detected and suitable treatment taken to change its progress.

Examination of the eyes upon entrance of school : Every school should possess a series of test letters and each scholar at the commencement of each term must have the eyes examined by the teacher. It should be provided with          

6. A Tabulated Statement of diseases with more or less characteristic eye symptoms from the eye as an Aid in General Diagnosis by E. H. Linnell  

  • Abdominal growths – More or less pigmentation of the skin of eyelids.
  • Albuminuria – Retinitis and neuroretinitis.
  • Atrophy, progressive, muscular – Ocular paralyses.
  • Brain, abscess of – Neuritis.
  • Dental affections – Various forms of inflammation of the cornea, Nictitation.
  • Digestion disorders of –  Styes, Nictitation.
  • Fever, relapsing – Iritis.
  • Gout – Retinitis.
  • Heart, valvular lesions of – Retinal haemorrhages.
  • Mania – Reflex spastic mydriasis.
  • Menstruation disorders of – Styes.
  • Paralysis agitans – Tremorr of the lids. Ptosis.
  • Snake opisoning – Retinal haemorrhages.
  • Tuberculosis- Periostitis and caries of the orbit. Tubercular nodules in eyelids, conjunctiva, iris and choroids. Iritis with grayish red nodules.
  • Typhoid fever – Anaesthesia of the cornea,  neuro-paralytic keratitis, Hippus in stage of cerebral manifestations. Metastatic suppurative choroiditis. Intra-ocular haemorrhages.
  •  Uraemia – Mydriasis is a premonitary sign. Sudden failure of vision.
  •  Uterine affections – Pigmentation of the skin of the lids. Paralysis of accommodation. 

7. Diseases of the Eyelids includes Blepharitis, Abscess, Hordeolum, Ptosis, Blepharospasm, Nictitation, Blepharophthlamos, Symblepharon, Ankyloblepharon, Lagophthalmos, Epicanthus, Trichiasis and Distichiasis, Entropium, Ectropium, Molluscum Contagiosum, Xanthelesma, Milium, Papillomata, Dermoid cyst, Naevi, Cahlazion, Epithelioma, Lupus, Sarcoma, Syphilitic Ulcers, Chancre and Gummata, Herpes zoster Ophthalmicus, Contusions, Wounds, Burns and Scalds.

8. Affections of the lachrymal Apparatus include Dacryoadenitis, Hypertrophy of the lachrymal gland, Tumors, Anomalies of the Puncta and Canaliculi, Strictura Ductus Lachrymalis, Dacryocystitis Catarrahalis, Dacryocystitis Phlegmonosa, Fistula Lachymalis.

9.  Diseases of the orbit includes cellulites orbitae, Tenonitis, Periostits orbitae, Caries and Necrosis, Emphysema of the Frontal Sinus, Tumors, Wounds, Injuries,Morbu s Basedowii.

10.  Affections of the Ocular muscles include Paralysis of ocular muscles, Complete Paralysis of the third nerve, Localizing value of the paralysis of ocular muscles in cerebral disease, Strabismus, Nystagmus, Asthenopia, Hyperphoria, Esophoria, Exophoria.

11. Diseases of the Conjunctiva includes Hyperaemia, Conjunctivitis, Tarchoma,  Pterygium, Lesions, Tumors of conjunctiva.

11. Diseases of the Cornea includes Inflammation, Keratitis, Hypopyon, Ulcus Rodens, Asthenic ulcer, Staphyloma, Tumors, Injuries and Wounds of the Cornea.

12.  Diseases of the Sclera include Episcleritis, Scleritis, Staphloma sclerae, Injuries of the sclera.

13. Diseases of the Iris includes Hyperaemia, Iritis, Tumors, Mydriasis, Myosis, Hippus, Tumors, Operations on Iris.

14.  Diseases of the Ciliary Body includes Cyclitis, Injuries, Paresis, Spasms, Irido-choroioditis.

15.  Sympathetic Ophthalmia includes symptoms, course, prognosis and treatment.

16. Diseases of the Choroid includes Hyperaemia, Choroiditis, Senile changes, Albinism, Tumors, Ossification, Haemorrhages, Detachment of the Choroid, Rupture and Coloboma.

17. Diseases of the Retina includes Hyperaemia, Retinitis, Detachment, Ischaemia, Embolus of the arteria centralis retinae, Thrombus of the venacentralis, Hyperaesthesia, Glioma.

18. Diseases of the Optic nerve includes Hyperaemia, Coloboma, Haemorrhage of the optic nerve, Neuritis, Atrophy of the optic nerve, Injury and Tumors of the optic nerve.

19. Ambylopiua and Amaurosis

20. Diseases of the vitreous body includes Hyalitis suppurativa, Opacities vitrei, Haemorrhage into the vitreous, Foreign bodies in the vitreous, Cysticercus in the vitreous, Persistent Hyaloiud artery, Deatchment of the vitreous.

21.  Diseases of the crystalline lens includes Cataract – various varieties, Operative treatment, Aphakia, Luxatio lentis.

22. Glaucoma includes Physiology and Pathology of secretion and excretion, Symptoms, Course, Causes, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Varieties, Haemorrhage and Treatment.

Part – II deals with ophthalmic therapeutics from Acetic acid to Zincum.
Then Clinical Index was compiled by Edwin.S.Munson, M.D who was the Assistant Surgeon to New York Ophthalmic Hospital with alphabetical arrangement of areas of the eye.

Bibliography – Books from which the author had taken articles with years.

Lastly an index of terms used in the book

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