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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 19, 2012


JAMA. 2012;308(23):2439. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3390


That the moving-picture shows cause, in many spectators, functional diseases similar to those of eye-strain and ocular labor must have been noticed by every general practitioner and oculist of the cities, and yet, so far as I know, none has publicly directed attention to this important fact. I have had so many patients who have been made sick at these places of amusement that I now ask routine questions to elicit this etiologic factor. Not one had thought of the connection, so unobservant are patients in such things, so uninstructed have they been left as regards the use of the eyes and sequent nervous and gastric disorders. “What were you doing the evening or afternoon previous to your headache or giddiness, or upset stomach?” “O, nothing at all,” is the usual answer, “nothing out of the ordinary; I was at the movies for a couple of hours, and went to bed at once, as I was feeling bad.” General physicians, oculists, opticians, gastrologists and neurologists should therefore be on their guard as to this new and unsuspected cause of certain acute functional disorders of which patients may complain.

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