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• Take 50,000 units of vitamin A daily for a short time.

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SYMPTOMS—This appears to be a sty on the eyelid, but it is not. After several days, the swelling and pain disappears, but a slow growing pea-sized nodule on the lid remains.

CAUSES—A chalazion is the result of plugged meibomian glands in the eyelid, and results from nutritional deficiency.


• Take vitamin A (at least 50,000 units per day, as beta carotene, for a number of days. Also take zinc (50 mg, 3 times a day).

• Apply warm poultices of 3% boric acid on the closed lid. A boric acid ophthalmic ointment may be obtained without prescription from the pharmacy.

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SYMPTOMS—The membrane lining of the inner part of the eyelid becomes inflamed. The eyes may appear swollen and bloodshot, and are often irritated and itchy. If there is pus, eyelids often stick together after being closed for a period of time.

CAUSES—There may be a discharge from the eye. The origin may be viral if the discharge is thin and watery. If it is white and stringy, the cause may be allergenic. If there is pus, it may be bacterial in origin.

When caused by a virus, conjunctivitis is highly contagious. The cause is generally viral or bacterial infection or physical or chemical injury.

Causes include injury to the eye, bacterial infection, allergens, dust, contact lens solutions, fumes, smoke, chemicals, makeup, or other foreign substances in the eye. Be careful about swimming pool water; it can cause eye and ear infections.

When caused by allergens, the infection may reoccur at a certain time each year. In young children "viral conjunctivitis" can occur from spring till fall.

Viral conjunctivitis is often found among groups of school children. Conjunctivitis is the most common form of eye infection in Western civilization.


• Apply warm poultices of 3% boric acid on the closed lid. A boric acid ophthalmic ointment may be obtained without prescription from the pharmacy.

• Apply charcoal poultices overnight. Mix enough water in, to make a thick paste and spread it over a piece of cloth that is larger than the inflamed area. Hold it in place with an ace bandage and leave on overnight. Use only enough pressure to hold it in place—but not so tight that pressure is placed on the eyeball. To avoid spreading the infection, carefully dispose of the cloth in the morning; do not save and use it again.

• During the day, slurry charcoal water can be applied: Add ¼ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. powdered charcoal to a cup of water, boil, let cool, and strain through several layers of cloth.

• With a dropper, put 4-5 drops of the clear fluid on the affected eye every 2 hours.

• Wash hands carefully after each treatment.

• Do not place a patch on the eye, for it can cause bacterial infection and weaken the eyelid (so it will later droop).

• Ice-cold compresses can be laid on the eye during the acute stage. For half an hour,