Sunday, August 25, 2013

"The wife as family doctor" - A 1951 home guide to medicine on strabismus and double vision

Previously I blogged about my stereophile granddad on my mother's side and his stereo toys. But it turns out my grandmother on my father's side also had something in her possession indicating an alternate solution to my problem. She recently moved to an old people's home and we found this amazing book while clearing out her house. Don't feel bad for her by the way. She's much happier to be living with her homies and getting reacquainted with old friends who are already living there. The book we found is called 'The wife as family doctor' and was published in 1951. It counts a thousand pages and provides practical information on how to deal with countless child and women's diseases.

A book dedicated to women
A reviewed and improved publication

An overview of heath care and family medicine
Mainly concerning child and women's diseases, child birth, and child care

It's a Dutch translation of a book written by German doctor Anna Fischer (1856 - 1917) called 'Die Frau als hausärtzin' which was first published in 1901.  The use of language is archaic and I'm sure much of the information might be outdated. I was curious what it had to say about strabismus.

Strabismus: Deviation of the gaze meaning that one eye fixates on one point while the other eye is pointed in another direction. This condition can result from a shortened muscle or paralysis. In case of the former surgical intervention can force the deviating eye to follow the other eye in a normal fashion. One shall always consult a very good eye doctor in order to cure this marring ailment.
Given the time of writing and the general mind set of ophthalmologist this didn't surprise me. Then I leafed a bit further through the chapter on eye disease.

Double vision: Many eye sufferers are bothered by the fact that they perceive all objects in their vicinity as double. When light rays bouncing from an object reach the retina on different ... (see next picture)

locations, then different reactions will result from this and this is the cause of double vision. However, when one trains himself to see well and use both eyes simultaneously, and his sight gets used to this, if the brain has normal anatomy, then double vision is completely excluded. This defect very often coincides with strabismus, but can nonetheless be radically overcome by the execution of customized exercises. (literal translation)
This just made my skin crawl! This 1951 publication already mentioned some sort of visual training which has never been mentioned to me by any eye doctor! GOOSEBUMPS

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