Eyes Ears Noses Teeth

According to Woods and Avison, eye diseases were quite common. Eye disorders included purulent conjunctivitis, ulceration of the cornea, and complete destruction of the eyeball. Often severe eye disease began with simple conjunctivitis following measles or smallpox. Surgical operations for cataract and pterygium were often successful (Avison 1897). During the 1940s, trachoma was frequently the cause of the pannus, entropion, trichiasis, and corneal ulcerations that caused loss of vision. Other causes of blindness were gonorrheal ophthalmia and smallpox. Hemophilus influenzae (Koch-Weeks bacillus) was one of the causes of purulent conjunctivitis reported in the 1940s (Simmons et al. 1944).

Ear diseases were quite common: Most cases were the result of smallpox in childhood. Suppuration of the middle ear often led to destruction of the drum, and sometimes there was growth of polypi. Nasal polypi were quite common, but surgical removal produced good results. The need for tooth extraction was quite low, because most people, except for those with congenital syphilis, had very good teeth (Avison 1897).

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