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Progressive suppuration of the cornea is unquestionably an infectious disease, and the destruction of the micro-organisms is the surest means of arresting the progress of suppuration. On this account the application of white heat (by electro-cautery or otherwise) along the line of demarcation has proven so successful that it became a great favorite with ophthalmic surgeons. But it is a treatment that cannot be trusted to any one but an expert; it destroys a certain amount of corneal tissue, thereby increasing the loss of substance, and the size of the resultant cicatrix; in the eyes of the laity it looks frightful and may easily create the impression that "the burning of the eye" has done all the mischief, if the case should take an unfavorable termination; and, lastly, the cauterization of the cornea does not affect the micro-organisms which may have entered the anterior chamber, and therefore has no effect
HOTZ FC. THE TREATMENT OF HYPOPYON KERATITIS WITH FREQUENT IRRIGATIONS OF CORROSIVE SUBLIMATE. Read in Section on Ophthalmology and Otology, at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1887. JAMA. 1887;IX(25):773–774. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400240005001b
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