Although old persons lose the power of distinguishing correctly near objects, and require for this purpose the aid of convex glasses, they usually retain the sight of those that are distant as well as when they were young. Instances, however, are not wanting of persons advanced in life, who require the aid of convex glasses to enable them to see near, as well as distant, objects. Dr. Wells is one of these. He informs us, in the paper to which I have more than once adverted, that when twenty years younger, he was able, with his left eye, to bring to a focus on the retina, pencils of rays

which flowed from every distance greater than seven inches from the cornea; but at the age of fifty-five, he required not only a convex glass of six inches focus, to enable him to bring to a point on the retina rays proceeding from an object seven inches from the

eye, but likewise a convex glass of thirty-six inches focus, to enable him to bring to a point parallel rays.—There are also instances of young persons, who have so disproportionate a convexity of the cornea or crystalline, or of both, to the distance of these parts from the retina, that a glass of considerable convexity is required to enable them to see distinctly, not only near objects, but also those that are distant; and it is remarkable, that the same glass will enable many such persons to see both near and distant objects; thus proving that the defect in their sight is occasioned solely by too small a convexity in one of the parts abovementioned, and that it does not influence the power by which their eyes are adapted to see at distances variously remote. In this respect such persons differ from those who have had the crystalline humour removed by an operation; since the latter always require a glass to enable them to discern distant objects, different from


that which they use to see those that are near. This circumstance, in my apprehension, affords a convincing proof that the

, crystalline humour is indispensably necessary to enable the eye to see at different distances.—It is also worthy of remark, that persons who have had the crystalline humour removed, have less power to ascertain the distance of an object when they look through a convex glass, than when they view it without this assistance; in consequence of which such persons seldom make use of glasses when they are walking: and the inconvenience of glasses is particularly experienced when they descend a flight of steps, or pass over uneven ground. Near sighted persons do not appear to possess the same

. extent of vision that is enjoyed by those who have a distant sight. Being near sighted, I have repeatedly endeavoured to ascertain my own range of vision : and I find, by examining the focus of my right eye through the abovementioned optometer, that I see two converging lines, which appear to meet, with very slight variations, at the distance of three inches from the eye; and no effort I am able to make can keep these lines united further than the distance of four inches and a quarter. They then separate, and continue to diverge. With my left

eye, the lines do not appear to meet nearer than four inches, and they continue united as far as five inches and a quarter, after which they also separate and diverge; so that the range of distinct vision in me does not extend further than an inch and a quarter in either eye; and within these distances I always hold a book when I read.-I find also the following rule, for determining the concavity of the glass that is best adapted for near sighted persons, to be perfectly correct with respect to myself, and, I believe, it may be safely adopted by those who, from distance or any other cause, are unable to suit themselves at the shop of an expert optician. The rule is this. Multiply the distance at which the person reads with ease, (which, with my left or best eye, is five inches,) by that at which he wishes to read, which may be said to be twelve inches; divide the product, sixty, by seven, the difference between the two, and it leaves nearly nine inches for the focus of the concave glass that shall produce the desired effect. This is the exact concavity of the glass that I am obliged to use, to enable me to read with ease; and it answers to that, sold under the name of No. 6; which, I am informed by Mr. Blunt the optician, is a double concave glass, ground on a tool of eight inches radius on one side, and eleven inches on the other, the mean between which is very nearly nine inches. With a glass of this description I can read the smallest print, but to distinguish distant objects I am obliged to look through. that, denominated No. 9, by opticians, which is ground on a tool of nine inches radius on both sides. In this respect, my eye has varied from what it was a few years ago, when I was able to distinguish both near and distant objects correctly, through No. 8. This is ground to a radius of eight inches on one side, and six inches on the other, and with it I can still read a type like that in which the Transactions of the Royal Society are printed; but am unable to distinguish through it many distant objects, which I formerly used to see distinctly. -Hence it appears that my eyes have a confined range of distinct vision, extending only to an inch, or an inch and a quarter; and that they remain nearly in the same state in which they were many years ago with regard to near objects, but have lost a part of the power which they formerly

possessed, of adjusting themselves to distant ones. In this last respect, they differ from the eyes of those who have naturally a distant sight, since, as such persons advance in life, they usually retain the power of distinguishing distant objects, but lose that of seeing those that are near. It appears to militate also against the common observation, that as near sighted persons grow older they become less near sighted; since my eyes, on the contrary, are more near sighted, at the


of fifty-five, than they were at twenty-five, and I am now obliged to employ deeper concave glasses than I then used to see distant objects, though I am not able to see distinctly through them things that are near.

The alteration which has taken place in my range of vision, I have reason to believe, is not unusual. Dr. Wells, in his paper on this subject, mentions the case of a gentleman, who, like me, was near sighted, and whose sight, as he advanced in life, had undergone a similar change.-The following is also an instance of this kind, that is still more remarkable. Mr. L. sixty-six years of age, who has spent a great part of his life in the West Indies, and whose sight, when he was young, enabled hiin to see both near and distant objects with great precision, began, at the age of forty, to experience a difficulty in reading and writing. He immediately procured convex spectacles of the first number sold by opticians, which glasses are usually ground to a focus of forty-six or forty-eight inches, and by the aid of these he continued to read and write with ease (distinguishing perfectly in the usual way all distant objects without them,) until he was fifty. At this time he first began to perceive an indistinctness in the appearance of things at a distance; and, on


trying with different glasses, he discovered that, by looking through a double concave glass of the sixth number, (which is ground to a radius of eight inches on one side and eleven inches on the other,) he was enabled to see distant objects · distinctly. He has continued to use glasses of this description for the purpose of seeing distant objects from that time to the present; but is obliged to remove them whenever he reads, and still to employ the first number of a convex glass.-In this instance, a presbyopic was changed to a myopic sight, without any known efficient circumstance to produce it.—In the two following cases, a similar change took place; and in them it was attributable to known causes. A woman, about fifty years of age,

of a full habit, who for several years had been obliged to make use of convex glasses, in order to read a small print, was seized with a dimness in the sight of the right eye, accompanied with a small degree of inflammation. The sight of the left eye having been long imperfect, this affection of the right eye occasioned a great depression of spirits. Recourse was necessarily had to copious evacuations, by means of which the inflammation and dimness of sight were soon removed; but afterwards the patient was much alarmed on finding that the spectacles she had been accustomed to wear, instead of affording their usual assistance, confused her sight. Upon this discovery, she was induced to look through her husband's glasses, which, in consequence of his being near sighted, were double concaves of the fifth number, and ground to a radius of eleven inches on each side. These did not assist her in looking at near objects, but by their aid she saw much more distinctly those that were distant; and, on attempting to read, nothing more was now necessary, than to bring


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