Three powerful medicines have lately been added to the repertory for the eyes, namely: The Calabbar-bean, or its active principle; Eserine; Jaborandi, which contains Philocarpine; and, finally, Duboisia, or, rather, the Sulphate of Duboisin. Here we will consider the latter two.
Philocarpine and Duboisin are two antagonists; Duboisin, a rivala of Atropin, dilates the pupils, while Philocarpine contracts them, even to complete closure. Now, according to the law of contraries, ophthalmiatrics uses Duboisin in iritidees, and Philocarpine to guard the deeper lying organs of the eye from a prolapsus towards the iris, the law of similar uses these remedies in exactly the opposite conditions, and it is of interest to note the use of these remedies when given in homoeopathic doses.
As in algebra, we have here in these remedies a positive and a negative quantity, the one as vigorous as the other, which puts it in our power to give to the action of a remedy a double weight. According to its congestive character, Duboisin leads to the paralysis of the accommodation, causing an enlargement of the pupils. But this state of congestive paralysis extends to the whole of the eye-ball and is not limited to the iris. If we examine the eyes of a man or of an animal who has received strong doses of Duboisin, we shall find the eyes congested from the lids even to the retina. The lids are slightly oedematous and in the morning they are stuck together.
Especially characteristic will be what we find in the interior of the eyes. The vessels of the pupil are enlarged and tortuous so that they can be easily traced; the pupil is red with infinite outlines. The veins of the retina are enlarged and tortuous. The arteries of the retina, however, are constricted, and the background of the eye is very hyperaemic. The eyes feel dry and hot, they seem weary, as if after an excess of work. Pains in the lids, just below the eye-lashes. Violent pain in the upper part of the eye-lid.
The vision itself also shows a great change. The accommodation is entirely paralyzed. It is impossible to read at any distance; owing to the pain, we do not even see the food we eat the paralysis of the accommodation takes place before the enlargement of the pupils and even continues after this has returned to its normal state.
Homoeopathy, true to its principles, uses Duboisia in congestive states of the eye and its surroundings. In the Ophthalmic Hospital, in New York, Duboisia is the remedy regularly used in inflammations of the conjunctiva of the eye.
The symptoms indicating these remedies are very analogous to those of Aconite, i. e., shining redness of the conjunctiva with heat and dryness of the eye. The difference between thee two consists in this, that the hyperaemia pointing to Duboisia is a chronic ailment. As it is found in hypermetropia and is not relieved by the use of glasses.
Clinically, Duboisia has frequently been of use in chronic hyperaemia or conjunctivitis palpebralis, which, to a certain degree, also affects the edges of the lids.
Charles Deady says concerning the ulcers of the cornea; “Duboisin is useful in the slowly dragging forms of ulcers at a greater of lesser depth, without much photophobia or lachrymation; in case or superficial ulcerations or such as show much photophobia we have not so far seen much good resulting firm its use.
In diseases in the fundus of the eye, especially of the nervous opticus and of the retina, Duboisia is also of importance. Thus Deady noticed in hyperaemia of the retina, accompanied with great weakness of the accommodation, great good from its use. So it has also cured neuritis of the opticus and of the retinitis.
It is also suitable in real weakness of the accommodation (Cf. Ruta, Conium and Argentum nitricum.) Norton uses the expression, “real weakness,” for he thinks that many cases of so called asthenopia depend on an irritable weakness of the accommodation, which is more suited for Jaborandi or another remedy acting in that manner.
The author has seen the 3 C. or Dec. Dilution of Duboisia used in the New York Ophthalmic Hospital in cases of conjunctivitis and has used this dilution himself in a number of cases with good effect.
Jaborandi has the following characteristics:
Constricted pupil, tension of the apparatus of accommodation, limitation of the field of vision, constant change in the power of vision. Jaborandi ought, therefore, to be, according to the homoeopathic principle, one of the leading remedies in spasms of accommodation. Norton gives an account of cures of this kind which were made with Jaborandi in a few days. The following clinical symptoms have been quickly relieved in various defects or refraction by means of this remedy: Spot before the eyes, especially when looking in the distance; the eyes tired and irritable, especially when looking in the distance; the eyes tired and irritable, especially when moving them; headache when moving them. Vision obscured, winking of the eye-lids, pains in the orbits. In short, Jaborandi is very valuable in spasms and irritability of the muscul. Ciliaric. It is also useful in nausea and vertigo as a reflex irritation from the eyes.
In its action on the accommodation it is analogous to the Calabar-bean and Agaricus. Norton. However, declares that Jaborandi has done more for him in spasms of the ciliary muscle than both the others.
The author says, in conclusion, that he has drawn his article chiefly from the excellent work of Allen and Norton on “Ophthalmic Therapeutics.”
Dr. Francois Cartier.