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December 24, 1973

Ophthalmic Ointments

Author Affiliations

University of Arkansas Medical Center Little Rock, Ark

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1568-1569. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130056024

To the Editor.—  Some physicians will not use ointments in ocular trauma or infections for fear of inhibiting wound healing or entrapping ointment globules in the wound. Most investigations on the effects of ointments on corneal wound healing were done two to three decades ago, using ointments considerably different from those used today. Recent investigation using current commercial preparations could not demonstrate inhibition of wound healing secondary to ointment usage.1 Corneal ointment entrapment is quite rare, and even if entrapped in the cornea or intraocularly, current preparations in small amounts cause surprisingly little reaction.2,3The following clinical guidelines are suggested.

Corneal Abrasions and Ulceration.—  Ointments may be used on superficial corneal abrasions. Ointments are used with caution in deep stromal abrasion, if the surface has flap or slanting irregularities that might allow stromal-to-stromal contact around ointment globules. In corneal ulcers, ointments may be used except in cases of