Inflammation of the Edge of the Eyelids.
This inflammation often involves the Meibomian glands, which then secrete a sticky mucus, which, not being wiped away during sleep, glues the lids together, so that, on waking in the morning, the patient cannot get his eyes open. The complaint is generally chronic and obstinate, lasting a long time. Weakly persons, with disordered digestion, are most subject to it. In some cases the lids ulcerate, and the lashes fall out. Generally the lids are considerably inflamed for a few days, and then, the inflammation subsiding, branny scales, which may be brushed off, form along the borders of the lids, at the roots of the lashes.
Treatment. The health being generally disordered, needs first to be improved by all possible means, as by alteratives, tonics, bathing, exercise in the open air, traveling if practicable, and a generous diet.
While the lids are inflamed, they should be bathed by a wash composed of sulphate of zinc, twelve grains; laudanum, two drams; and soft water, twelve ounces. The redness and heat having subsided, and the bowels being opened by a gentle dose of physic, an astringent wash should be applied once or twice during the day (208), (209), and a small piece of the diluted nitrate of mercury ointment be rubbed along the borders of the lid, with a pencil brush at night. This will generally effect an immediate improvement, and in time will bring about a cure.
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