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The Care of the Eyes and Ears

light, similar, water, allowed and reading


The Care of the Eyes.—A common-sense rule should be applied to the eyes and ears as to other organs. We know that excessive use of a muscle produces a sense of tiredness, and that the sensible course is to give the muscle rest for a season. The eye may also be tired with much work, and on signs of fatigue showing them selves the organ should be rested. Some persons cannot read or write or otherwise use the eyes for close work without a feeling of pain and stiffness. This is often due to some degree of redness, and perhaps inflammation, of the lids; but it is more often a sign of some amount of long-sightedness. Persons who suffer in this way should, therefore, have their sight tested. Spectacles for reading or fine work may be found completely to relieve the feeling.

In reading or writing, or in similar occupa tions, the head should not be allowed to hang down and forwards. The way in which light falls on the work is of importance. It should come from the side, but so that the arm or hand may not intercept it. It ought not to be allowed to fall upon the face and eyes, or in any way to produce dazzling. The light ought to be suffi ciently clear to render the work, writing, read ing, &c., quite distinct without need of peeling. Direct sunlight is bad, and so is a very brilliant artificial light. A mellow light, such as is given by a good reading-lamp, is best. Above all, the light should be steady and not flickering. For this reason much reading in railway carriages, or under similar circumstances, where complete steadiness is impossible, is injurious.

Under certain circumstances it is necessary to shade the eyes. Iii driving against a strong wind, for example, the eyes should be protected lest inflammation of the delicate membrane (conjunctiva) lining the lids and part of the eyeball be set up. For the same reason persons

should guard against sitting in a railway car riage by the side of an open window, facing time direction in which the train is going, if there is any wind. The eyes should also be protected from the glare of a bright sun reflected from calm water when sailing, from similar glare reflected from white pavements in cities, and specially from the glare of the sun reflected from fields of snow. Spectacles of plane smoked glass are best for these purposes.

Children should not be allowed to read too long at a time; the table or desk at which they sit should be of a height takeep the head erect, and should be placed in the position referred to as regards the admission of light. Books printed in clear bold type should be placed in their hands so as to avoid straining their unaccus tomed eyes, one of the most frequent causes of squinting (p. 485).

The Care of the Ears consists mainly in avoiding the use of pills, &c., for picking out wax. The necessary cleansing is sufficiently performed by the little finger or the corner of a towel. Wool should not be worn in the ears except when specially needed. It may be placed in the ears before entering water to bathe, and should be removed on coming out. Avoidance of vigorous nose-blowing will aid in preventing water that may have entered the nostrils from passing up the tube from the throat to the middle ear (eustachian tube, p. 464). No discharge from the ear should be left unattended to for a single day after its appearance (see p. 490).