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In the current issue of the British Medical Journal is a leading article upon the degree of visual acuity demanded by the Home military authorities, in which it is stated that V6 over 24, each eye without glasses, is to be considered the standard of vision. It is interesting to recall that in the South African war the visual standard was V6 over 36 with both eyes, provided with glasses the candidate can reach 6 over 6 in one eye and 6 over 12 with the other; which measurement was in force up to the commencement of the Territorial inauguration.At the beginning of this war a very great number of recruits were passed through for examination in this centre in a very short time and probably, under the conditions of rush then obtaining, we may not have been so accurate in judging acuteness of vision as we might have been, but several cases have now come under my notice from other districts which bring home the necessity for the most careful ophthalmological examination. Not only in the interest of the men, great as that is, but also in the interests of the general public, which has to pay for pensions and expects the various societies to deal out money in order to compensate, in some measure, wounded and incapacitated soldiers for giving their services to their country.The following two cases illustrate, aptly enough, the points touched upon where consequences may arise from want of careful ophthalmological examination when being enlisted: Case 1. Gunner AH, aged 20 has been training with his battery for five months and is sent now by his regimental officer from his camp to obtain a report about his eyes, the gunner himself to pay the fee of one guinea. He is a strong, splendidly healthy young man with brown eyes (tending to obscure the pupil reflex in a bad light), obviously very keen on his work. On testing his sight, it is found to be 6 over 36, partly with both eyes. He is suffering from stationary lamellar cataract of both eyes; quite easy to see even with the naked eye. He says he cannot \"level\" his work! Case 2. XY, invalided soldier, aged 29. History is that he landed on Gallipoli at the same time as a high explosive shell. As a result of the concussion he was in hospital seven weeks, and four months in a convalescent home in England. Now, \"sight of left eye has come back but the right eye is still bad. Fundi found to be normal and vision under homotrepin and cocaine is: right 6 over 36, left 6 over 6. Retinoscopy of right eye is less than plus two in the vertical and less than minus three in the horizontal diameter. Vision therefore, with glass correction is: Plus .50 spherical combined with minus 3.00 cylinder axis vertical equals 6 over 9. In England he has been fitted up with a pair of spectacles: Right, plain, No. 4 tint; left, plus .50 spherical for reading which he has never used. On being told and shown that he could be made to see nearly perfectly with proper glass-correction with his right \"blind\" eye, the man accepted the position at once. That is the point of maximum interest. The point was carefully explained to him that he had always had something \"wrong'' with the \"blind\" eye, in which point he concurred. Indeed, had he not known of it before the explosion is it conceivable that he, or any man living, would not have stood solid in the conviction that shell fire was the cause and the only cause of his present \"blindness\"? Of course it may have been the cause, for miracles do happen, but what an amazing and interesting thing for air concussion (he is very particular that no fragment struck him), permanently to bend a tight elastic ball hitherto acting normally and to dent it so slightly that six months later it is found to be myopic, or concave, in one tiny diameter and convex in the other; while the other eyeball, equally elastic, remained normal. Apart from any functional disturbance of vision which we may be sure was present, there is little doubt that, most of this man's life, the static refraction of his right eye has been one of mixed astigmatism; a condition entailing no comment or surprise. He was sent in with the backing of a society which was \"prepared to pay anything in reason for any operation or course of treatment which will improve his sight.\" Supposing that, for reasons of State, this man had been put under an anaesthetic! One can imagine the public insisting that the eye was \"taken out to be cleaned\" and the gears re-aligned and lubricated, then Hey presto! The sight is restored! \"Name of a little bit of pipe, Lourdes would have been to it as nothing of a nothing, my old!\" as Brigadier Gerard would say. Other cases occur to my mind, but the two already given illustrate what hardship can be inflicted on a man who is allowed to train in camp when he has permanent defect of sight; a danger to himself and to his comrades; whilst the second case shows how the country, or a society with public funds, could easily be put to an expense equivalent at least to the cost of retaining an army ophthalmic surgeon to examine all cases, if such a man had happened to be dishonest. Let me add another point of interest in eye work with members of the Expeditionary Forces. It is astonishing how many \"Mori fundi\" there are in the attested. Relics of a former military occupation!

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

In the current issue of the British Medical Journal is a leading article upon the degree of visual acuity demanded by the Home military authorities, in which it is stated that V6 over 24, each eye without glasses, is to be considered the standard of vision. It is interesting to recall that in the South African war the visual standard was V6 over 36 with both eyes, provided with glasses the candidate can reach 6 over 6 in one eye and 6 over 12 with the other; which measurement was in force up to the commencement of the Territorial inauguration.At the beginning of this war a very great number of recruits were passed through for examination in this centre in a very short time and probably, under the conditions of rush then obtaining, we may not have been so accurate in judging acuteness of vision as we might have been, but several cases have now come under my notice from other districts which bring home the necessity for the most careful ophthalmological examination. Not only in the interest of the men, great as that is, but also in the interests of the general public, which has to pay for pensions and expects the various societies to deal out money in order to compensate, in some measure, wounded and incapacitated soldiers for giving their services to their country.The following two cases illustrate, aptly enough, the points touched upon where consequences may arise from want of careful ophthalmological examination when being enlisted: Case 1. Gunner AH, aged 20 has been training with his battery for five months and is sent now by his regimental officer from his camp to obtain a report about his eyes, the gunner himself to pay the fee of one guinea. He is a strong, splendidly healthy young man with brown eyes (tending to obscure the pupil reflex in a bad light), obviously very keen on his work. On testing his sight, it is found to be 6 over 36, partly with both eyes. He is suffering from stationary lamellar cataract of both eyes; quite easy to see even with the naked eye. He says he cannot \"level\" his work! Case 2. XY, invalided soldier, aged 29. History is that he landed on Gallipoli at the same time as a high explosive shell. As a result of the concussion he was in hospital seven weeks, and four months in a convalescent home in England. Now, \"sight of left eye has come back but the right eye is still bad. Fundi found to be normal and vision under homotrepin and cocaine is: right 6 over 36, left 6 over 6. Retinoscopy of right eye is less than plus two in the vertical and less than minus three in the horizontal diameter. Vision therefore, with glass correction is: Plus .50 spherical combined with minus 3.00 cylinder axis vertical equals 6 over 9. In England he has been fitted up with a pair of spectacles: Right, plain, No. 4 tint; left, plus .50 spherical for reading which he has never used. On being told and shown that he could be made to see nearly perfectly with proper glass-correction with his right \"blind\" eye, the man accepted the position at once. That is the point of maximum interest. The point was carefully explained to him that he had always had something \"wrong'' with the \"blind\" eye, in which point he concurred. Indeed, had he not known of it before the explosion is it conceivable that he, or any man living, would not have stood solid in the conviction that shell fire was the cause and the only cause of his present \"blindness\"? Of course it may have been the cause, for miracles do happen, but what an amazing and interesting thing for air concussion (he is very particular that no fragment struck him), permanently to bend a tight elastic ball hitherto acting normally and to dent it so slightly that six months later it is found to be myopic, or concave, in one tiny diameter and convex in the other; while the other eyeball, equally elastic, remained normal. Apart from any functional disturbance of vision which we may be sure was present, there is little doubt that, most of this man's life, the static refraction of his right eye has been one of mixed astigmatism; a condition entailing no comment or surprise. He was sent in with the backing of a society which was \"prepared to pay anything in reason for any operation or course of treatment which will improve his sight.\" Supposing that, for reasons of State, this man had been put under an anaesthetic! One can imagine the public insisting that the eye was \"taken out to be cleaned\" and the gears re-aligned and lubricated, then Hey presto! The sight is restored! \"Name of a little bit of pipe, Lourdes would have been to it as nothing of a nothing, my old!\" as Brigadier Gerard would say. Other cases occur to my mind, but the two already given illustrate what hardship can be inflicted on a man who is allowed to train in camp when he has permanent defect of sight; a danger to himself and to his comrades; whilst the second case shows how the country, or a society with public funds, could easily be put to an expense equivalent at least to the cost of retaining an army ophthalmic surgeon to examine all cases, if such a man had happened to be dishonest. Let me add another point of interest in eye work with members of the Expeditionary Forces. It is astonishing how many \"Mori fundi\" there are in the attested. Relics of a former military occupation!

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

In the current issue of the British Medical Journal is a leading article upon the degree of visual acuity demanded by the Home military authorities, in which it is stated that V6 over 24, each eye without glasses, is to be considered the standard of vision. It is interesting to recall that in the South African war the visual standard was V6 over 36 with both eyes, provided with glasses the candidate can reach 6 over 6 in one eye and 6 over 12 with the other; which measurement was in force up to the commencement of the Territorial inauguration.At the beginning of this war a very great number of recruits were passed through for examination in this centre in a very short time and probably, under the conditions of rush then obtaining, we may not have been so accurate in judging acuteness of vision as we might have been, but several cases have now come under my notice from other districts which bring home the necessity for the most careful ophthalmological examination. Not only in the interest of the men, great as that is, but also in the interests of the general public, which has to pay for pensions and expects the various societies to deal out money in order to compensate, in some measure, wounded and incapacitated soldiers for giving their services to their country.The following two cases illustrate, aptly enough, the points touched upon where consequences may arise from want of careful ophthalmological examination when being enlisted: Case 1. Gunner AH, aged 20 has been training with his battery for five months and is sent now by his regimental officer from his camp to obtain a report about his eyes, the gunner himself to pay the fee of one guinea. He is a strong, splendidly healthy young man with brown eyes (tending to obscure the pupil reflex in a bad light), obviously very keen on his work. On testing his sight, it is found to be 6 over 36, partly with both eyes. He is suffering from stationary lamellar cataract of both eyes; quite easy to see even with the naked eye. He says he cannot \"level\" his work! Case 2. XY, invalided soldier, aged 29. History is that he landed on Gallipoli at the same time as a high explosive shell. As a result of the concussion he was in hospital seven weeks, and four months in a convalescent home in England. Now, \"sight of left eye has come back but the right eye is still bad. Fundi found to be normal and vision under homotrepin and cocaine is: right 6 over 36, left 6 over 6. Retinoscopy of right eye is less than plus two in the vertical and less than minus three in the horizontal diameter. Vision therefore, with glass correction is: Plus .50 spherical combined with minus 3.00 cylinder axis vertical equals 6 over 9. In England he has been fitted up with a pair of spectacles: Right, plain, No. 4 tint; left, plus .50 spherical for reading which he has never used. On being told and shown that he could be made to see nearly perfectly with proper glass-correction with his right \"blind\" eye, the man accepted the position at once. That is the point of maximum interest. The point was carefully explained to him that he had always had something \"wrong'' with the \"blind\" eye, in which point he concurred. Indeed, had he not known of it before the explosion is it conceivable that he, or any man living, would not have stood solid in the conviction that shell fire was the cause and the only cause of his present \"blindness\"? Of course it may have been the cause, for miracles do happen, but what an amazing and interesting thing for air concussion (he is very particular that no fragment struck him), permanently to bend a tight elastic ball hitherto acting normally and to dent it so slightly that six months later it is found to be myopic, or concave, in one tiny diameter and convex in the other; while the other eyeball, equally elastic, remained normal. Apart from any functional disturbance of vision which we may be sure was present, there is little doubt that, most of this man's life, the static refraction of his right eye has been one of mixed astigmatism; a condition entailing no comment or surprise. He was sent in with the backing of a society which was \"prepared to pay anything in reason for any operation or course of treatment which will improve his sight.\" Supposing that, for reasons of State, this man had been put under an anaesthetic! One can imagine the public insisting that the eye was \"taken out to be cleaned\" and the gears re-aligned and lubricated, then Hey presto! The sight is restored! \"Name of a little bit of pipe, Lourdes would have been to it as nothing of a nothing, my old!\" as Brigadier Gerard would say. Other cases occur to my mind, but the two already given illustrate what hardship can be inflicted on a man who is allowed to train in camp when he has permanent defect of sight; a danger to himself and to his comrades; whilst the second case shows how the country, or a society with public funds, could easily be put to an expense equivalent at least to the cost of retaining an army ophthalmic surgeon to examine all cases, if such a man had happened to be dishonest. Let me add another point of interest in eye work with members of the Expeditionary Forces. It is astonishing how many \"Mori fundi\" there are in the attested. Relics of a former military occupation!

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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