This may be caused by smoke or dust in the atmosphere, by other foreign bodies in the eye; frequently by eye strain, due to far or near sightedness, astigmatism, or muscular weakness, which may be corrected by an oculist’s (never an optician’s) prescription for glasses. Exposure to an excessive glare of light, as in the case of firemen, or, on the other hand, reading constantly and often in a poor light, will induce irritation of the lids. The germs which cause “cold in the head” often find their way into the eyes through the tear ducts, which connect the inner corner of the eyes with the nose, and thus may set up similar trouble in the eyes.
Symptoms. The eyes feel weary and “as if there were sand in them.” There may be also smarting, burning, or itching of the lids, and there is disinclination for any prolonged use of the eyes. The lids, when examined, are found to be much deeper red than usual, and slightly swollen, but there is no discharge from the eye, and this fact serves to distinguish this mild type of inflammation from the more severe form.
Treatment. The use of dark glasses and a few drops of zinc sulphate solution (one grain to the ounce of water) in the eye, three times daily, will often cure the trouble. If this does not do so within a few days then an oculist should be consulted, and it will frequently be found that glasses are needed to secure freedom from irritation of the eyes. In using “eye drops” the head should be held back, and several drops be squeezed from a medicine dropper into the inner corner of the eye.