CAP. LVII. De Ophthalmia, seu Lippitudine.
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The Ophthalmy, is an inflamma∣tion of the Adnata Tunicle or Membrane in the eye called Conjunctiva, joyned with swel∣ling, extension, pain, redness, and a flowing forth of tears; arising from a sharp blood distending the small veins that belong to the Membrane.
Alvi fluxus Ophthalmiae superveniens, bonus, hu∣morum enim abundantia evacuatur, & ad inferiora retrabitur. Curatio est difficilis, si ophthalmia pue∣ros infestat, because that it continually floweth from a tender and a weak head. It is desperate, if it be by consent from the membranes of the Page 95 brain, and the parts contained within the skull: An old pain in the eyes is very dangerous; Gau∣sae enim contumaciam arguit; and it is to be feared ne suppuratio aut exulceratio succedat. They who have great eyes are most subject to this dis∣ease.
A certain Gentleman, fifty yeers old, having an Ophthalmia, was thus cured: First, there was administred for four nights together, ʒ ss. of Pil∣lulae de Succino Craton. made in three Pills; these gave five or six stools the following days with∣out any griping; outwardly was applied to the forehead the following Plaister: ℞ Mastiches, myrrhae, thuris, ana, ʒ i. ss. sanguinis Draconis, ʒ i. Boli Armeni, farinae fabarum, ana, ℥ ss. Cro∣ci, ʒ i. cum albumine ovorum, oleo rosarum, & mo∣dico aceto, fiat frontale; into the eye was distil∣led the following Collyrium: ℞ Tutiae praepaera∣tae, ʒ i. ss. camphorae, croci, ana, gr. xii. tye them up together in a fine rag, and hang them in Rose∣water, and White-wine, of each half an ounce; of this there was dropt into his eyes, helying on his back, two or three drops, three or four times a day; whilst this was doing, he used the fol∣lowing decoction: ℞ Sarsaparillae incisae & con∣tusae, ℥ ii. ligni Guaiaci incisi, ℥ i. sussafras incis. ʒ ii. Infuse them in 15. pints, of spring-water for 12. hours, then boil them till five pints be wasted, after take it from the fire, adding present∣ly of Cinnamon bruised, ʒ i. let it pass through Page 96 an Hyppocras bag: dose ℥ vi. taken hot, being in bed, composing the body to sweat gently; af∣ter sweating, the sweat was rubbed off gently with fine dry warm linnen; an ordinary drink was made of the second decoction, which was used in those dayes he did not sweat: Thus in twenty days he was cured, beyond all expectation.
Another Gentleman, being grievously vexed with the same disease, was cured by the following Medicines: ℞ Pillularum Succin ʒ i. pil. aurea∣rum, ʒ ss. troch. agarici, ℈ i. cum syrupo de beto∣nica, f. pil. numero 10. He took five of these when he went to bed, which gave him the next day six stools; the other five he took the fol∣lowing night: To his forehead and temples there was applied an astringent Plaister, and upon his eyes whites of Eggs well beat•n with Rosewater and womans milk: Into the eyes was dropt one or two drops, twice or thrice a day, of this Oph∣thalmick Collyrium: ℞ Sarcocollae in lacte asi∣nino lotae, ʒ iii. tutiae praeparatae, ʒ i. aloes ʒ i. sacchari candi, alb. ʒ i. ss. croci, gr. iii. aquae rosa∣rum, ℥ iv. Mix them, letting them stand a day, shaking them before you use it: By these he was cured:
A certain Gentlewoman, being miserably af∣flicted with a hot distillation in her eyes, so that she could not open them in the morning, was thus helped: After purging with Pil. de succino Craton, the following remedy was applied to her eyes: Page 97 ℞ Succi Sempervivi cochlear. i. vini albi, cochle∣ar. ii. misce. Of which there was dropt one or two drops into the eyes, laying upon them all night a double linen rag wet in the same; this mitigated the heat: After, there was some of the Ophthalmick Collyrium, prescribed in the former Observation, distilled into her eyes twice or thrice a day; and so at length she was perfect∣ly cured.
A Country man, fiftie yeers of age, being troubled with an old Inflammation of his eyes, by the advice of a Physician, did for a long time observe a cooling diet, and did drink water, but found no ease: At last, another Countryman perswaded him to leave off that cooling diet, and give himself to drink pure wine; after his first cup of Wine he perceived his eyes to be better, and within a few days, continuing the same drink, his eyes became well. Indeed Hippocrates saith, that pains of the eyes are sometimes cured by drinking pure Wine; quando scilicet Ophthalmia fit à sanguine crasso & pituitoso oculorum tunicis impacto, which by the use of pure Wine is melt∣ed, attenuated, and discussed.
A Child, new born, was troubled with redness of the eyes, and much filth which came from them like quittor; after the disease had continu∣ed three moneths, by the advice of a certain Physician, Cotton Wool was every night laid upon each eye, being first diligently dryed over Page 98 the coals, and well teased and pulled asunder with the fingers, and afterward each eye was covered with a little Cotton, in manner of a Bolster, which was swathed down. In the morning the Cot∣ton Wool was much fouled with the foresaid matter: This Remedy bring continued divers nights together, the Infant was perfectly cured.
A Vesicatory applied to the forepart of the head, as Forestus reports, did a wonderful cure upon an old woman with sore eyes.
Zacutus Lusitanus cured an old Ophthalmy, which would no otherwise be removed, in a whole year, with a Mercurial Unguent, although there was no apparent sign of the French disease; being perswaded by Mercurialis, who (in his Book de Morbo Gallico) saith. When you see any dis∣ease that wil not be cured by ordinary means, imagine it to be the Lucs Venerėa.
Cataplasma ex medulla panis triticei, & pomi assati, cum lacte muliebri, pauxillo croci, & saccha∣ri saturni, plurimùm in Ophthalmiâ laudatur.
Plura de hac aegritudine vide in meo Enchiri∣dio Medico, lib. 3. cap. 5. & etiam in meâ Scholâ Physicâ, Med. 51, 53, & 59.
A certain old man, by reason of a defluxion of Rheum falling into his eyes, had his sight so far weakned, that he could not go without one to guide him; of which disease he was cured, and his sight restored, by putting into his eyes, every night when he went to bed, five or six of the Page 99 seeds of Clary, which drew the Phlegmatick hu∣mors out of his eyes, and cleansed the tunicle or coat called Cornea: Indeed this Observation doth more properly belong to the Chapter de Albugine.
Solenander commends highly the decoction of Quince leaves, which are to be gathered, without breaking, in the beginning of the Spring, and kept diligently, that they be neither dusty nor musty, nor otherwise defiled; and when you use them, boil one handful of them in pure wa∣ter, and let the eyes be often washed therewith: It is a wonder (saith he) to see how it doth preserve, cleanse, and stop Rheumes in the eyes.