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March 1948


Arch Ophthalmol. 1948;39(3):273-299. doi:10.1001/archopht.1948.00900020280003

PRIOR to von Helmholtz' epochal invention of the ophthalmoscope in 1851, little was established concerning the pathology of myopia. Kepler,1 early in the seventeenth century, expressed the belief that in accommodation the retina moved closer to the lens and that myopia was a disturbance of this function. Plempius,2 in 1632, first examined the myopic eye anatomically and noted the increased distance between the lens and the retina. Boerhave,3 in 1708, confirmed the findings of Plempius and suggested this axial lengthening and the greater convexity of the cornea as causes of myopia. The deep anterior chamber of myopic persons misled observers of that period into believing that the cornea exhibited an abnormal convexity. Morgagni,4 in 1761, also gave an anatomic demonstration of the greater length of the myopic eye. Guérin,2 in 1769, first mentioned the ectasia of the posterior pole. Scarpa,5 in 1801, introduced the

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