It is well known that certain agents, when ingested in large quantities, or for a considerable length of time, cause an amblyopia which is due either to an acute interstitial inflammation of the central or macular nerve fibers of the optic nerves or a gradual degeneration of these fibers. Wood alcohol or some preparation containing it, Jamaica ginger, etc., are the agents more prone to cause the acute variety, while the habitual excessive use of tobacco and alcoholic beverages, the administration of stramonium, cannabis indica, chloral, etc., or long continued exposure to lead, bisulphid of carbon, naphthalin, etc., are frequently responsible for the chronic form.
That the heroin amblyopia vaguely referred to in various works on therapeutics and pharmacy belongs to the category of retrobulbar neuritis is evident from the following clinical history and ophthalmic findings:
—Mrs. M. P., aged 32, colored, married, was admitted
STIEREN E. BLINDNESS FROM HEROIN IN THE NOSTRUM "HABITINA". JAMA. 1910;LIV(11):869-870. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550370001001i